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2006 Year in Review: MARCH

1 Jan, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Sony's Playstation 3 is delayed until November.

  • 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.

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