(This is an updated entry to correct a previous error and incorporate response from HD DVD Group)
The hi-def disc battle gets nastier by the day. Europe's HD DVD Promotional Group has perfectly demonstrated why press releases should be read for what is not said, rather than what is, by releasing data suggesting that attach rates (ie discs bought per player) are vastly higher for HD-DVD player owners than those of BD players. I won't repeat the data: you can read some of it here
The press release does specify that the HD DVD group is including consoles in this analysis, which is ironic, or cynical, depending on which side of bed you fell out of this morning, because HD DVD supporters have made great play of the fact that standalone players are the most important drivers of disc demand and that consoles should be discounted. To quote Steve Nickerson, Senior Vice President, High Definition Media at Warner Bros: "... the standalone player market is by far the biggest driver of movie sales in the long-term".
So why include PS3s now? Presumably because PS3 sales are surging ahead at such a rate as to make sales of HD-DVD players look tiny in comparison, and therefore inflate attach rates for the minority player. Even if attach rates are vastly different, BD disc sales could still be higher than HD-DVD. Sales of laserdisc used to be much higher than VHS, when measured on this basis, because the few people brave enough to have bought a player also purchased loads of discs, while most VCR owners were less interested in buying pre-recorded cassettes.
But the HD-DVD Group does not release actual disc sales numbers. It says this is because it is "early days for both formats" and they want to publish findings based on independent "facts". But the important "facts" remain a secret, ie how many discs have actually been sold.