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Woolworths abandons HD-DVD

Blu-ray outselling format 10 to one.

Woolworths has said it will no longer stock the HD-DVD format in its stores from March.

According to the retailer, PlayStation 3's popularity helped Blu-ray to outsell HD-DVD by 10 to one over Christmas.

Speaking to The Retail Bulletin, Woolworths man Steven McGunigel said, "Sales figures clearly show that the market is moving towards one format of high definition DVD.

"The main reason is the success of Sony's PlayStation 3 machine. Because it plays Blu-ray discs, there are over three quarters of a million homes in the UK that can view the new high definition format. There is nowhere near that number of HD-DVD players around."

You can still buy HD-DVD on Woolworths' website though, format fans.

Toshiba, a major manufacturer of HD-DVD players, reckons there's still everything to play for. "While we're disappointed by Woolworths' decision, it is extremely early to spot which format will eventually win," bigwig Oliver Van Wynendaele told GamesIndustry.biz.

"We have been hugely successful in expanding the number of consumers owning HD-DVD players. UK consumers can now pick-up an HD-DVD player for less than GBP 150, around half the cost of other HD formats.

"Even before pricing reached this level, HD-DVD represented more than 60 per cent of the overall standalone high definition market."

Van Wynendaele also stated that figures show that the attach rate of HD-DVD movies to their hardware is higher than that of Blu-ray with its respective players.

"HD-DVD has always enjoyed greater software sales per player than any other HD format," he observed. "In fact, HD-DVD owners have already bought around 3.5 movies each, compared to less than one movie sold per Blu-ray device."

To make matters worse, Toshiba has just announced its profits were down by 25 per cent during the last quarter - but didn't say this had anything to do with HD-DVD.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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