I expect many of you are wondering just how the whole debacle over the HD format war played out at CES affected actual sales. Well, the simple answer is that I wouldn't want to be working public relations for HD DVD right now, if data from NPD Group is to be believed.
Yes folks, it seems that all the hype created by us journalistic types (for which I make no apologies) has managed to convince the buying masses that Blu-ray really is the format to go for now. Comparing the comparative hardware sales from before CES (above) to after (below) and you can see the shift from give-or-take equal market share to an astonishing 93 per cent Blu-ray share.
Now obviously this is only hardware sales for one week, so it is arguable that it may not be truly indicative of the long-term prospects for the rival formats, but I think the format war's fate is pretty much decided now, mainly because of the way that Warner's defection has been cited as the deciding factor. Many among us may consider HD DVD a superior format but as the Betamax/VHS argument showed, consumers aren't particularly concerned with such issues.
It does still remain to be seen whether Blu-ray's apparent victory is as it seems, or just a short blip on the path to HD DVD's eventual triumph, but if I was advising someone today what HD player to buy, I'd be hard pushed not to recommend they go 'Blu'.