Holiday sales will probably be more of the same barring the arrival of Chinese HD DVD players. HD DVD will continue to outsell Blu Ray in standalones, especially if they cut prices further. Universal probably knows that people buying a standalone are buying it for movies, not all PS3 owners use it for such (or as I mentioned before even know it plays movies, as hard to believe as that is). It is a longer term gamble on their part. If HD DVD owners buy more movies they'll glady stay in the boat, what is better to them? A cheaper to make format with definitive specs. If they sell three movies to one consumer then they're happy, not one movie to a handful of owners. They probably hope the consumer, who is more often than not undereducated in respect to these devices, will see the Universal title they like, see the cheap player price and buy into it, thus buying more Universal titles when they want more content. In the four months or so I've been buying HD DVDs there has been maybe one person looking at Blu Ray movies and two looking at HD DVDs. Thats all. Yet people are at these same stores buying regular DVDs all the time.
The thing I've mentioned before is both formats have install bases of consumers actually using them for movies similar to what DVD had in late 1998, possibly less so, and in reality it is a drop in the bucket. Laserdisc probably has more installed users, let alone VHS and DVD. You're marketing to a niche crowd. I don't see either side of studios putting tremendous effort into this, save for a few titles most of what they've released was previously remastered, or prints that were in good shape to begin with and thus will look good in HD. Only exceptions that come immediately to mind are things like Robin Hood, Casablanca etc. Stuff the studios probably put an effort into remastering simply because of the historic value of the material, they'd probably have done it anyway as soon as the technology existed to make it worth their effort for sake of preserving them.
From what I've seen most of what has been released is stuff that was well preserved to begin with and lends itself well to an HD release. I doubt any studio marketing to either format is going to put tremendous effort into restoring and remastering obscure titles that are going to appeal to maybe a fraction of the small installed base of either format. It isn't in their best interest to do so. They'll take what was already went through, is newer or still looks good. Thats what you'll get. While Universal has a large catalog they'll probably release what looks best.
I don't see Universal changing that strategy or going neutral. They'll comb through their stuff for material that looks decent, and release it. If they strike up new masters for a DVD release and they're good they'll make an HD DVD of it. Since fewer studios release on HD DVD they've got an almost exclusive market, the owners will buy it if they want it. People owning Blu Ray won't be able to. Then the consumer is left with the choice, they can either buy an HD DVD player to get in on the action or not buy the movie at all. Universal probably hopes the former will happen, they release something that appeals, the consumer buys an HD DVD player for it, then begin to buy other titles they were missing out on. More money for them and they can reap the benefit of the cheaper manufacturing costs. It is a lot easier for the consumer to pony up $200 for a player (and sometimes less) then it is for them to pony up more for a more expensive player.
Some of us have the luxury of owning both formats. I could buy a Blu Ray player, however I'm exercising the option of holding out for a good deal. Figuring I could buy a Blu Ray player for $300, thats about 10 movies I could buy on HD DVD (possibly more if I buy used or on sale). I'd rather have the movies. In that time however Blu Ray is losing my money, and the studios that support both formats are seeing me buy HD DVDs instead.