Sony denies Blu-ray vs HD-DVD format war

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sony Australia has again denied the existence of any significant challenge from the HD-DVD camp in Australia, drawing on GfK data in support of the argument that Blu-ray is dominating over its rival in the high definition disc market.

Just a week after Toshiba general manager Mark Whittard declared at the announcement of a local HD-DVD Consortium that the format war is “far from over”, the war of the words continued today with Sony Australia managing director, Carl Rose, firing back during today’s Experience More event in Sydney.

“Let’s get things in perspective here. Despite all the hyperbole whipped up in the media, so far there is no format war in Australia,” Rose said.

Sony again rolled out GfK statistics showing software title sales are strongly in favour of Blu-ray – the same figures the company used to deny the format war at the launch of its first standalone Blu-ray player, the S1.

“You’ve just got to take a look at the industry support and the sales figures to see that," said Rose.

“This chart shows the dominance week by week of Blu-ray hardware, excluding PS3, over HD-DVD in value terms and as you can see the current ratio is an 80:20 split.

“We launched our [S1] Blu-ray player last month and sales are strong.

“The S1 joined PlayStation 3 in the market and as a result, over 90 per cent of the High Definition packaged media sales are on the Blu-ray format,” said Rose.

Sony also confirmed the lower-priced Blu-ray player, the S300, which was announced at the launch of the S1 last month, will be available in September to ‘fuel the market as we move into the Q4 buying period’.

The company has not officially confirmed a price.

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