2006 Year in Review: MARCH
1 Jan, 2007
By: Thomas K. Arnold
An HD DVD launch won't happen this month, after all. Warner Home Video, the only supplier which had set a firm date, March 28, for its first HD DVD titles to arrive in stores, now says its first wave — Million Dollar Baby, The Phantom of the Opera and The Last Samurai — won't be shipped until mid-April. “Everything we do is new,” Warner's Steve Nickerson tells Home Media. “We want to make sure the product that goes out is flawless.” Two weeks later, Toshiba announces a similar delay in its HD DVD players. It's official: Sony's highly anticipated new PlayStation 3 video game console won't be in stores until November. Previously, gamers had expected the pricey new console, with its built-in Blu-ray Disc drive, no later than September. But after weeks of speculation, Sony confirms the machine won't be ready and points the finger at unfinished Blu-ray Disc technology. An analysts report from Wedbush Morgan Securities suggests physical video rental isn't on the brink of extinction and labels talk of collapsing windows hype. But Movie Gallery, the nation's No. 2 rental chain, says it will begin subleasing store space in an effort to boost revenue after a bad fourth quarter. Same-store revenue fell 8.6%, and the chain posted a net loss of $546.5 million. President and CEO Joe Malugen blames a weak box office and “the continued growth of various alternative entertainment options and new technologies.” Signs of a maturing business: An analysis of first-quarter DVD shipments shows that suppliers released 13.8% fewer titles than they did in the first quarter of 2005. A leading culprit: theatrical catalog product is down more than 20% because most marketable movies already have been released on DVD by now.
Sony's Playstation 3 is delayed until November.