HD-DVD Players Selling Out?

Posted Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:50 AM PDT by
HD-DVD Player with Question Mark One month into the launch of HD-DVD, consumers searching for a player may find themselves out of luck, as retailers across the country are reporting they are out of stock on first-gen players and have no timetable for inventory replenishment.

According to Video Business, spokespersons for major retailers including Bestbuy.com, Walmart.com and Sears.com say they are sold out of Toshiba's $499 HD-A1 HD-DVD player, and inventory is also low on the manufacturer's $799 HD-XA1 high-end option. So far, demand appears to be driven primarily by early adopters.

"[HD-DVD player sales are] hit and miss," Best Buy spokesman Brian Lucas told VB. "It [the HD-A1] is sold out in some stores... but we are in the very early stages. It's just the true early adopters who are looking for this. It's not comparable to [demand] for Xbox 360.”

An unnamed source from a studio who is producing HD-DVD software titles also told VB that Toshiba's slim hardware output has been fully anticipated and always a part of the plan, with "April through September considered a soft launch... ample HD-DVD quantities should be in stores by fourth quarter."

Though many retailers, including Amazon.com, would not speculate to VB on when they expected to receive more players, the lack of inventory has even spurred consumer-to-consumer sales, such as on popular auction site eBay, with some players selling for as much as $200 or more over list price.

"I think the fact that inventory is so-called tight means that people are buying," the studio source added. "I see that as more of a good thing than a bad thing."
Tags: Industry Forecasts, Hardware (all tags)