Target has thrown its hat into the Blu-ray arena.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Target Corp., the nation's second-largest retailer, will start selling a Sony Blu-ray high-definition DVD player during the critical holiday shopping period and feature the player along with Blu-ray discs in store displays."

The plan is for Target to "sell the Sony BDP-S300 for $499 in October and display it along with Blu-ray DVDs from three studios, including Sony Corp. and The Walt Disney Co., at the ends of store aisles."

It was a scant 5 weeks ago that Blockbuster announced they would "offer only Blu-ray titles when it expands its high-def offerings this fall."

While Target might be selling HD-DVD players in its stores "it does sell a Toshiba HD-DVD player for $299 on its Web site."

They do sell "the HD-DVD add-on for the Microsoft Xbox 360" in store, and "they also sell Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, which comes with a Blu-ray player built in."

Target has yet to offer up a reason why they have "sided" with Blu-ray by putting their players in their stores. However, "Sony is paying a fee to have its products featured in the end-of-aisle display, called an endcap, although Sony executives said the retailer contacted them about the decision."

"We are not proclaiming one format vs. the other as the preferred consumer technology, and software will continue to be available to our guests in both the Blu-ray and HD DVD format," Brie Heath, a Target spokeswoman said.

Despite what many consider to be another crippling blow in this format war, "the HD DVD camp was not fazed by the Target decision, pointing out that HD DVD players continue to outsell Blu-ray players, which cost at least twice as much. They also point out that HD DVD players and DVDs are featured in endcap displays in Circuit City Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. locations."

"HD DVD players are the most affordable," states co-president of the North American HD-DVD Promotional Group, Ken Graffeo. "It's one thing to have a player featured, but it's another if it doesn't sell."

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs