Say what you will about PS3 sales, but it seems clear that the game console is having an impact on the next-gen DVD war. This week the Blu-ray version of Casino Royale broke into the Amazon top 10 for DVD sales and four other Blu-ray titles sit in the top 100. On the other hand, the top title on HD DVD, Happy Feet, is currently ranked at No. 117.
In a recent column, I suggested to readers that they should keep an eye on The Departed--it's a Warner release and therefore available on both HD DVD and Blu-ray--to get an idea of how the war was going. While the HD DVD currently sits at No. 195, the Blu-ray version of The Departed is at No. 75. To be clear, these numbers change hourly, so by the time you read this the rankings may be significantly different, but the overall trend seems clear. As several new Blu-ray releases have hit the market in the last few weeks, owners of PS3s (and the handful of overpriced standalone Blu-ray players) actually seem to be buying a movie or two.
With the PS3 geared toward a somewhat older, male-oriented demographic, it's not surprising that Bond would be a popular buy, but what's a bit of mystery is why the Casino Royale Blu-ray is ranked No. 17 on Amazon's U.K. site. Not only is the PS3 not yet available in the U.K., but Sony is bundling a Casino Royale Blu-ray with the first 500,000 PS3s it sells in Europe. Go figure.
For a full list of up-to-the-minute Amazon Blu-ray and HD DVD bestsellers (U.S. only), go to the HD Game Database.