HD DVD Rising
The 100K players sold represents dedicated, standalone players only, and these numbers don't include the HD DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360, which are believed to be an even higher figure.
Toshiba was quick to cite price as key to HD DVD 's accessiblity, having recently taken the MSRP of its lowest priced player, the HD-A2 to $399. At this point in time, Sony's 60GB PlayStation3 at $599 is still the least expensive Blu-ray Disc player in the market. And speaking of the game consoles, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that focusing on standalone players is a very selective metric; the PS3 is not only a fully functional BD player, it's the BD player with the strongest feature set and well over one million PS3s have beens old in North America and over two million have sold worldwide according to Sony. HD DVD's sales, including the Xbox add-on drives are a fraction of this number.
On the software front, High-Def Digest reports that the HD DVD edition of Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series hit #4 on Amazon's top selling DVDs (the BD version of Planet Earth was at #17 at the time). Interest in this title is intense across the board- the DVD version is #1 on Amazon's top selling DVDs list as I write this. The latest James Bond opus Casino Royale was the first HD title to crack the Amazon top ten. This is all the more impressive as the Planet Earth set is a multi-disc series priced at $69.95.
Other indicators that things might be looking up for HD DVD include the release of the Matrix Trilogy next month by Warner. While the trilogy will eventually make it to Blu-ray as well, that apparently won't happen for months giving the HD DVD a big head start. This is a major boost for HD DVD as May and June will see both Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Pixar's Cars hitting Blu-ray exclusively.