Has Blu-ray’s time to shine finally come? Players have come down to $200 and below prices and Black Friday saw players sell out at multiple outlets and restocks continue to sell with Christmas on the horizon. Many are predicting it’s now or never for Blu-ray, bad economy or not.
According to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment David Bishop, Blu-ray has hit its hardware player “sweet spot” and will see continued growth into 2009. In fact, he expects the current growth rate of 150% to continue throughout next year.
The signs of Blu-ray’s growth are everywhere nowadays. Hancock sold an estimated 300,000 Blu-ray Disc copies through its first six days, about 2/3s of what arguably more popular Iron Man on Blu-ray managed. This helped account for a nearly 50% increase in Blu-ray sales over Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend.
Lets not forget The Dark Knight, ready to steamroll over all previous Blu-ray records when it officially goes on sale tonight at midnight at Best Buy and other participating retailers. We predict many PS3 owners will make their first ever Blu-ray purchase with The Dark Knight.
Bishop predicts January will be a crucial time for Blu-ray due to the instant influx of new Blu-ray players and PS3s with Blu-ray that will be unwrapped Christmas morning. He predicted to Home Media Retailing, “We anticipate January from a Blu-ray perspective on software to be very strong.”
It is hard to argue with that looking at the January slate. In addition to Eagle Eye arriving just after Christmas, January’s Blu-ray slate includes Bangkok Dangerous, Pineapple Express, Appaloosa, Mirrors, King Kong, Saw V, The Bourne Trilogy and many others (see the full list here).
With February and March 2009 already looking far fuller than the same months in 2008 in terms of software, maybe that 150% growth prediction will come in low.