Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland
The BD version of The Departed has a sales rank almost twice as good as that of HD DVD.
Yes, that is true right now (or whenever you took this snapshot). Immediately after release, the HD DVD version was ranked much higher than the BD version. It is also true that the NIN HD DVD release has ranking almost three times as good as the BD version. A reasonable person would assume that this means total sales are closer than this particular rank would indicate. TOTAL numbers are all that really matter; the ranks are just a single data point, at a single time. Given that we don't have anything better, they are useful, but you have to look at more than just a single moment in time.
If your statement were true, than you could extrapolate the better HD DVD ranking of 'Happy Feet' to say that HD DVD is obviously selling better with family films than Blu-Ray is. Or, for that matter, that music releases (NIN) are FAR more likely to sell to HD DVD buyers (I don't buy either of these points, BTW - the data is not long-term enough). Both stances would be absurd, given the limited amount of data available.
It should be obvious to anyone that BD is selling much better than HD DVD.
It is not 'obvious' to anyone who understands the difference between instantaneous ranking data and cumulative sales data. What is 'obvious' from this data is that the rankings (not necessarily sales) for same-title competing releases are much closer than the '# in top 10,000' type of data would suggest.
Now, if I were a product manager getting ready to release a new title and trying to decide which format I was going to pick for release, the data would tell me that SD DVD is a must-have. Releasing on an HD format would be optional, and it doesn't appear to me that either would have a significant advantage over the alternative - both are still fringe formats. Heck, I'm not even sure that an HD disc format would be preferable to VHS at this point.
Again, though, I will stand by my statement that if BD reaches the point where they have 2x-3x as many good titles available for sale, that will have enough of a negative impact on HD DVD player sales to kill HD DVD. It does NOT automatically mean, however, that BD will replace SD DVD - there's a long way to go before that can be determined. OTOH, if HD DVD gets mass-market players out (<$200) before this happens, BD will have to scramble to catch up before more HD DVD studios go neutral to capitalize on the installed HD DVD hardware base.
[Caveat: Universal going neutral would be the 'nuclear' event - if this happens, HD DVD is dead instantly.]