Black Friday? More like Blu Friday. According to Nielsen VideoScan, US sales of Blu-ray discs swelled to a nearly 3:1 lead over HD DVD in the first official week of the holiday shopping season.
According to the just-issued VideoScan numbers, 72.6% of all high-definition discs purchased last week were Blu-ray, versus just 27.4% for HD DVD.
Although one week's data does not necessarily indicate a trend, Blu-ray's stronger-than-ever disc sales lead for the week would seem to suggest that even record-low HD DVD player prices (and record-high HD DVD player sales) may not be enough to balance out the "PS3 Effect" on Blu-ray sales -- especially amidst a recent resurgence in sales for the game console.
Of course, there are other factors at work here as well. As HD DVD supporters have been quick to point out, last week saw a total of ten major studio Blu-ray releases (including 'Live Free or Die Hard' and 'Hairspray', versus only two on HD DVD (including 'Star Trek: The Original Series - Season One').
Others have questioned the reliability of VideoScan's numbers, pointing out that the research firm's point of purchase data does not include Wal-Mart, which generally accounts for 40% of all DVD sales.
Only time will tell whether Blu-ray's stronger-than-ever weekly lead is a trend in the making or simply an anomaly, but here's betting weekly disc sales numbers will be watched more closely than ever in the coming weeks. Stay tuned...