Basically: when people don't make money, they don't spemd money.
A Sony Electronics executive admitted in an interview on Thursday that sales of standalone Blu-ray disc players fell short of expectations and would not meet worldwide sales goal due to economic slump. The exec also said that once Blu-ray movies become more affordable, this could spur the interest for the standard.
Sony and Blu-ray disc Association set the target to sell five million of standalone Blu-ray disc players worldwide in 2008 with the vast majority sold in the USA. However, now Sony believes that the target will not be achieved and there will be around 4.5 million of devices sold through globally.
“It’s not that far off of it. Maybe 10% off of what we had thought. It’s truly one of the items that has performed well during this economic mess,” said Stan Glasgow, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics in the USA, in an interview with Reuters news-agency.
Mr. Glasgow admitted that prices on Blu-ray titles, which may be as high as $30 or even more per disc curtail adoption of the standard by mainstream consumers. Nevertheless, he said that movie studios need to earn money, which is why they set very high price-premium on high-definition films.
“They (movie studios) need to make money, and the packaged media (discs) is a critical way for them to make money so I understand their problems also. But I’d love to see those prices come down, as well as the price of Blu-ray players, to drive adoption,” said the head of Sony Electronics in the U.S.
Apart from the costs of Blu-ray movies, overall economic slump affects the market of high-definition video. According to the Sony executive, even Bravia HDTVs in general will not be ultimately popular this year.
“We expected the TV industry to just skyrocket this holiday season. It’s going to grow, but its not skyrocketing. There are less consumers willing to spend money. I believe 80% of that is just consumer confidence. They don't feel as comfortable making a major investment in a television,” said Mr. Glasgow.