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Blu-ray outsells HD-DVD in Europe

Movies in HD-DVD format are displayed at a Toshiba booth during the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 8, 2007. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

LONDON (Reuters) - High definition movie DVDs in the Blu-ray format have outsold the rival HD DVD standard in Europe this year, breaking the 1 million barrier and constituting 73 percent of all HD movie discs sold.

Citing industry sales data, the Blu-ray disc association said in a statement on Tuesday Blu-ray movie disc sales had topped 1 million units and when counting Blu-ray gaming discs the total number produced for sale in Europe exceeded 21 million units.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console includes a Blu-ray Disc drive.

Hollywood and electronics manufacturers are hoping that new high-definition DVDs, with better picture quality and more capacity, will revive the slowing home DVD market.

But the launch of the next-generation DVD players has been complicated by the fact that there are two competing technologies available, Blu-ray and HD DVD.

HD DVD was developed by Toshiba Corp 6502.T while Sony Corp 6758.T backs the Blu-ray standard.

Of the high definition movie discs bought by consumers so far this year in Europe, 73 percent were in the Blu-ray Disc format and 27 percent were HD DVD, according to sales data provided by Media Control Gfk International.

Blu-ray said the best selling titles were 300, Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Home Media Research said in October Blu-ray Disc DVD titles had outsold rival HD-DVD titles by almost two-to-one in the first nine months of the year in the United States.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by David Holmes

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