Microsoft wasn't the only one with something to show off yesterday, the rest of the HD DVD camp was on hand to show off what they've done in the months since launch and what we can expect for the rest of the year. On the hardware side there is of course the Xbox 360 drive, as well as Toshiba's HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players already on shelves. A Toshiba exec stated the cheaper A1 is outselling its more expensive counterpart by a ratio of 5-1, although that may not mean much as it is much more widely available. Depending on who you ask, Warner Home Video exec Steve Nickerson either said there are as many HD DVD players sold as there were DVD players in all of 1997, or that there will be by the end of this year. Seeing as there were about 300,000 DVD players sold in '97 and HD DVD is still in the "tens of" range, we'll go with the latter interpretation.

As far as software, Paramount Home Entertainment, New Line Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video were all on hand, however New Line does not expect to release any discs on either format until early 2007. Warner will release between 35 and 50 additional titles by the end of this year, 60 total from Universal, while Paramount expects to "probably double" its ten movies currently available by the end of this year. All in all they expect as many as 150 HD DVD discs for consumers to choose from in 2006. We can still look forward to limited availability of interactive additional features on discs this year as the studios continue to gauge customer reaction to the new technology to predict what will work best in 2007.

Even with all the positivity and good consumer reactions, it's hard to ignore that HD DVD is still talking thousands, while Blu-ray will be saying millions after the PS3 launch in November.

[Via AVS Forum]

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HD DVD supporters talk Q4 '06 and beyond