First Blockbuster, now Target's going Blu-only. Or at least that's what it appears from an AP report that was filed late yesterday. According to the story, "Target Corp., the nation's second-largest retailer, will start selling a Sony Blu-ray high-definition DVD player during the critical holiday shopping period and feature the player along with Blu-ray discs in store displays, dealing a potential blow to the rival HD DVD format."
The story goes on to say that the move will formally be announced Thursday and is designed to help cut through the confusion that's kept consumers from "rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market."
I guess this is sort a big deal, but at the same time, I'm not sure why anyone would bother buying the player--the Sony BDP-S300--that Target will allegedly be selling for $499 in October when the PS3 costs the same price. (The BDP-S300 only earned a 6.5 rating from CNET). Now, if that price were to come down by a couple hundred bucks, that might be a real blow to HD DVD. While I don't see that happening, I would expect this model to be $100 cheaper by October.
Note: A few hours after I posted this story, Ken Graffeo, Executive Vice President of HD Strategic Marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment, issued a statement. He says:
"Target will continue to carry the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive as well as HD DVD titles so we don't see much of a change in their plans to carry both formats. In fact, they continue to sell Toshiba HD DVD players on their web site. Sony appears to have bought an end cap, just as HD DVD has in retail stores such as BestBuy and Circuit City."