According to this article in the
Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram, DVDs seem to have reached a point of critical mass.
According to industry projections, Americans will spend nearly $3 billion more on DVDs this year than they did last, an increase of 50 percent. Some recent hit films...have earned more from their DVD releases than from their first-run theater engagements. And for the first time, DVD sales have surpassed those of videocassettes, even though DVD players are in only about a third of American households, compared with a saturation of more than 90 percent for videocassette players.
In the face of this, American retailers have shown the first major signs of making a per- manent shift to DVDs from videocassettes, much as they did to CDs from vinyl albums a decade ago.
"It is the most successful home entertainment device in history," said Warren Lieberfarb, president of Warner Home Video. "In five years, it has gone from zero to 30 million households, and a quarter of those have more than one DVD player. Nothing else has come close to doing that in such a short time, not CDs, not VCRs, not personal computers, not even television itself."
Early estimates in 1997 and 1998, the first years that DVDs were on the market, projected that it would take substantially longer for the new format to assert itself. But no one foresaw how quickly Hollywood studios would move to put their recent releases and extensive libraries onto the shiny new discs. By decade's end, all of them had.
The article also cites the unprecedented price drop of DVD players; units that averaged $600 to $700 in 1997 now go for about $150 and as little as $79. Also, next-generation video game systems like the PlayStation 2 have DVD capability built in.
Correction: I misidentified the newspaper as the Dallas Star-Telegram; thanx to anna for the correx!