One of Australia's biggest consumer electronics retailers, JB Hi-Fi, has wholeheartedly jumped on the Blu-ray bandwagon by announcing it won't be stocking the rival HD-DVD optical disc format.
Speaking at the official Australian launch of Blu-ray in Sydney yesterday, JB Hi-Fi marketing director, Scott Browning, said the retailer chain would not stock HD-DVD discs.
"Blu-ray is the only format that has the ability to tell the whole story, with the most comprehensive offering on the market," he said. "With seven of Hollywood's leading studios accounting for the vast majority of 2006's home video sales, among the 170 plus companies globally that support Blu-ray disc, it makes sense that content will be king when it comes to Blu-ray."
However, he added that the retailer would still offer the HD-DVD add-on drive for Xbox 360, but downplayed its importance as "an afterthought" that would not directly compete with PlayStation's integrated Blu-ray player.
Browning said JB Hi-Fi would only stock HD-DVD discs if "significant take-up" was shown, but even then it would only sell them online.
In comparison, Blu-ray players and products will enjoy up to 10 per cent of JB Hi-Fi's floor space, with the possibility of an additional 20 per cent increase come Christmas 2008, Browning said.
"Consumers don't give a rat's arse about products, they are more about buying an experience and Blu Ray delivers that," he said. "Blu-ray is not a product launch, it's an experience launch."
Blu-ray has secured the exclusive backing of five of the eight major movie studios and has 70 Blu-ray titles available at launch in Australia. It will continue to feed off the 200 already available titles in the US.