Sony has made certain that recent Nielsen VideoScan sales figures would not go unnoticed, today heralding PlayStation 3 as a driving force behind a growing appetite for Blu-ray movie consumption. According to the Nielson data, during the first two weeks of January, sales of Blu-ray movies outpaced those of HD-DVD movies by a wide margin; in week one, 47.14 HD DVD titles were sold for every 100 Blu-ray titles; in week two, the margin grew to 38.36 HD-DVD titles for every 100 Blu-ray titles. High-Def Digest suggests that, despite HD-DVD's head start, overall sales of the two formats could be equal in a matter of weeks; while Sony is already confident that "Blu-ray has surpassed HD-DVD in cumulative sales."
It should be noted that during those first two weeks of January the only high-def titles released were two Blu-ray movies: The Covenant (Jan. 2) and Crank (Jan. 9). Also, if we are to credit PS3 for the Blu-ray sales spike, we should notice that not a single PS3 game was released during that two-week period (see: PS3 release schedule). There's reason for Sony to be proud that allegedly 90% of PS3 users have watched a Blu-ray movie; but from our perspective, we'd be just as willing to applaud if that percentage dipped in favor of deeper gaming experiences.
Perhaps the game drought has worked in Sony's favor, generating greater interest in Blu-ray movies, while early PS3 adopters wait for the software library to grow. No doubt Microsoft is also closely watching high-def movie sales; and if the current trend continues, a jump to Blu-ray is always possible.
[Via press release]