Transformers vs. Spider-Man

No, that's not the next big Hollywood blockbuster (but if you think it is, contact my agent). This storyline is playing out at retailers near you right now. Two of the most anticipated day-and-date with DVD next-gen titles hit retail recently, and they're flying off the shelves. And the consequences in this format war could be tremendous.

Paramount's Transformers hit HD DVD exclusively right around the same time Toshiba dropped prices on its HD DVD players. Perhaps as a result, Transformers the studio reports moving 100,000 discs on day one, moving onto 190,00 units sold in its first week, which would make it the "best selling HD DVD ever." Well, in the first year and a half of its existence anyway (and don't ask how many millions the DVD sold in that same time frame or you'll start to doubt this whole HD thing altogether).

Spider-Man 3 hit the Blu-ray exclusively and while Sony shipped over 400,00 units to retailers, Sony is claiming 130,00 units sold in its first six days, according to Video Business. Sony said these numbers don't include giveaways bundled with the PS3, but neither does it tell how many of those 130,00 copies were sold as part of the Spider-Man High Definition Trilogy, which is a more expensive three movie set (as the word "trilogy" implies).

Given that there are over two million PS3s out there in the US, and Blu-ray has made much of its 2:1 sales superiority over HD DVD, these numbers are a little surprising. Does it mean Spidey 3 simply isn't as now as the robots in disguise? Or is there something to the HD DVD camp's contention that the PS3 is more of a game machine than Sony wants to believe? And is there something to be said for price being king?

Let's see what these next few weeks bring. We'll have Shrek 3 on HD DVD going head to head to head with three Pixar releases on Blu-ray, including the day-and-date release of Ratatouille. Will HD DVD continue to hold its own? Hey, hand me the popcorn, this is getting good!