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Report: Few Companies, Game Systems Dominate High-def Market

22 Jan, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Sony during the first three quarters of 2007 had a 97% overall market share on Blu-ray players, thanks to the PlayStation 3.

A new report from research firm DisplaySearch shows North America is home to 80% of high-definition hardware in the world, but being so dependent on next-generation gaming consoles that support Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD, the high-def world is still in its early stages.

The report, “Quarterly Global Next Generation DVD and Game Platform Hardware Shipment and Forecast,” shows that gaming consoles account for a worldwide 85% share of high-def machines, despite aggressive set-top pricing by Toshiba for HD DVD, and lowered set-top prices for Blu-ray.

“The market for Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD continues to grow, but our research continues to indicate that this market will face challenges not only in capturing mainstream sales, but also in expanding beyond a hardware ecosystem dominated by primarily only three companies,” said Paul Erickson, director of DVD and high-def market research for DisplaySearch, referring to Sony, Toshiba and Microsoft. “Due to consumer price sensitivity and satisfaction with regular DVD in North America, the substantial growth needed for next-generation DVD to grow beyond a niche market dominated by consoles will require time, persistence, and aggressive pricing.”

Toshiba held the overall lead in standalone devices worldwide, accounting for 64% more standalone units than all Blu-ray brands combined, during the first three quarters of 2007. Sony, during the same time period, had a 97% overall market share on all Blu-ray players, thanks to the PlayStation 3.

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