Sony, and no doubt the investors and backers of Blu-ray, are well aware of the adoption woes that the technology is currently facing. A victory over HD DVD is hollow if it means nothing but lackluster sales in the face of customers still overwhelmingly favoring the older DVD. This is something Sony has been concerned about for some time
, and while they have recently sought to reorganize and find a new way to make Blu-ray attractive, the truth is that Blu-ray is simply not performing
as well as they'd hoped.
Depending on your frame of reference, this can actually be surprising news. Blu-ray is a format intended to be coupled with high-definition televisions, so it's easy to assume that sales of HD-capable TVs and Blu-ray players would go hand in hand. That just isn't the case – HDTV sales are on the rise, with a huge increase in market share over the past year in the U.S. (from an estimated 35% to 42%). Standalone Blu-ray players, on the other hand, are only in an estimated 7% of U.S. homes and PlayStation 3 consoles in about 9%. Why the difference? It's assumed that the increasing availability of hi-def content from cable and satellite providers plays a part, with people buying HDTV units for high-def TV content as opposed to movies.
Despite Sony winning a technical victory with Blu-ray, their adoption issues are still dismal. Many claim they are waiting for Blu-ray format prices to come down before taking to plunge, but players have already dropped below $200 in many areas and dip even lower on occasion. So what's stopping Sony from convincing the world it needs Blu-ray?