Bit-tech.net: During a briefing with UK press in London yesterday, Ken Graffeo, executive vice president of High Definition Strategic Marketing for Universal Studios and co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group, shrugged off Blockbuster’s move to expand Blu-ray to 1450 new stores in America.
Graffeo pointed out that rental counted for less than one percent of its revenue and brushed it off as an insignificant event in the format war.
Ken cited the fact that HD DVD is still being offered in the original 250 stores and through Blockbuster’s online rental service. He claims that those 250 stores are stores where there are large numbers of early adopters and the latter, he believes, is Blockbuster’s major growth market.
Thus, he is not fazed by Blockbuster’s decision. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that this is potentially a bigger win for Blu-ray than it is a loss for HD DVD, based on the figures he’s given to us.
He remained adamant that HD DVD was on top at the moment and claimed that dedicated HD DVD set top boxes are outselling Blu-ray set top boxes at a rate of three to one in the US. In the last six weeks, the Promotional Group has sold over 50,000 HD DVD set top boxes on promotion in the US, proving that once the price is right, consumers will buy into the technology.