Wow - I've attempted to discuss this twice in other threads, but it has been "nailed", I'm assuming because of it's speculative nature. So I feel maybe it is best suited for this rumour thread:
I started a thread yesterday on a different subject that also spoke of this, but it was deleted after BD assaults. If this thread suffers from poor post etiquette, I ask that it not be deleted, but merely locked, as the subject matter and discussion are very relevant.
The strategy of the BDA and Sony in recent weeks leading up to this year's holiday season, may well be explained by observations from the field.
The first thought of what might be happening, dawned on me as I walked through my local Target this week. Target is definitely not the market for $500 BD players, and is certainly a much better market for $200 HD DVD players.
Note that this is NOT a slur on Target shoppers, so let's skip that sort of talk. It is a realistic assessment of the target market there. In fact, after I asked the counter staff in the A/V section whether they had any Bluray players (to which they said "no") a couple next to me started to talk anout their HD DVD player, which the girlfriend proudly announced he had bought for about $200!
So... on with the discussion (I'll use BDA to represent BD entities, like Sony, etc):
The BDA has made a deal with Target to only carry Bluray players exclusively. Yet I could not buy a Bluray player at Target yesterday, fully a month after they took out the other options. Also - most of us here recognize the truth that there will not be many $500 Bluray players sold at Target this holiday season.
How many of the sales of Bluray and HD DVD are bought by Blockbuster? Because we know that Blockbuster's expansion to 1,700 brick and mortar stores will be Bluray-only, thanks to another "exclusive" deal. I say "Deal", because it was announced by Blockbuster's VP of Merchandising, which CLEARLY indicates that a merchandising deal was bought from Blockbuster.
So if 1,700 Blockbuster stores are buying new Bluray releases every week, how many discs does that add to the weekly Nielsen sales numbers? A lot, I'd be willing to guess.
Then we hear of similar BD-Exclsuive deals with Woolworth's - another retail outlet more likely to have sales favouring HD DVD.
Now, we also have a thread showing field observations that Frye's electronics
may ALSO have done a deal with Bluray, since, although no announcement has been made, they have quietly taken down all their HD DVD discs in multiple locations and replaced them with - of ALL things - UMD discs! a failed format! No store in their right mind would stock these after almost all studios have cancelled further releases on them, unless they got PAID to.
Other apparent deals are being indicated and rumoured.
Yet, they all seem to target distribution chains that would normally favour cheaper equipment (like HD DVD) over more expensive gear (like Bluray).
So, the obvious questions that have to be asked are:
(1) "Is Sony and the BDA's current strategy to fight HD DVD's cheaper entry price by trying to block as many of their natural distribution channels as possible and eliminate their sales during a period when Bluray cannot match the prices?"
(2) "Are these deals to block retail channles favourable to HD DVD being 'disguised' as merchandising programs for Bluray - even in chains that wouldn't normally be a natural fit, such as Target - or for UMD?"
Please give your thoughts.
Also, if anyone can think of any other BD-exclsuive deals like the one's above, please add them below in your post...