Report: Blu-ray Outpaces HD DVD Sales in Europe

LOS ANGELES — The 1 millionth Blu-ray title has been sold in Europe, where Blu-ray sales have been dramatically outpacing rival format HD DVD sales, according to a new report from the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).

According to the BDA, the Blu-ray format owns 73 percent of the high-definition market — a figure that includes the more than 20 million Sony PlayStation 3 games that have been shipped to Europe, which make use of Blu-ray technology.

In Japan, where high-quality, hi-def broadcast TV is commonplace, 97 percent of the HD recorder market relies on Blu-ray technology, with a mere 3 percent of the market using HD DVD.

While the claimed number of discs purchased, an estimated 1.3 million includes sales-to-date, of which 369,863 are HD DVDs, the percentage comes from disc sales over the past year.

According to the European HD DVD Promotional Group, HD DVD player owners have bought an average of 3.8 discs each, which translates into 97,332 HD DVD players — a number that includes Xbox 360 consoles, which are also HD DVD-compatible players.

This figure is in comparison to 1.6 million European Blu-ray players and consoles, around a 17-1 advantage for Blu-ray.

The BDA also reports that the best-selling Blu-ray title so far this year in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and Sweden is "300," while "Casino Royale" topped the list in Ireland and the U.K.