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PS3 Driving '08 Blu-ray Expansion

The so-called format war between high-definition disc formats is now over. But, a new report by Strategy Analytics details just how much ground the winning Blu-ray standard stands to gain. The Mar. 26 report forecasts that Blu-ray players will have found their way into some 30 million homes worldwide by the end of the year. That number could quadruple by 2012. More interesting yet, sales of Sony?? (SNE) Playstation 3 will be the main driver of this growth through at least 2009.

This year, analysts expect global Blu-ray sales of just under 19 million units. Of those, 2 million will be PCs, 4 million still costly stand-alone players, and a whopping 13 million gaming consoles. ??D-DVD?? withdrawal leaves the way open for Blu-ray to become a major revenue earner for technology vendors and content owners alike,?wrote principal analyst David Mercer in a release.

And, according to this piece in the Hollywood Reporter, sales of individual Blu-ray films have spiked. Recently released titles have seen the percentage of copies being sold in the Blu-ray format jump to between 10% and 13%, up from a mere 2% to 3% before Sony rival Toshiba threw in the towel in February.

All in all, additional bits of evidence that bode well for Sony.

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