Reviving an old thread a bit here, and I'm not really too invested myself as I think movie purchases are one of the worst things you can do in general and so have only 3 titles (besides the POS KingKong that came with the xbox hd unit - painful enough when I watched it in a theatre).
1) Those people that bought HD-DVD may buy a blu-ray player and BD movies, or be just pissed off enough to stick with DVDs, or get a PS3 (or wait for prices on other hardware to drop again) and rent.
2) The consumer didn't really have a chance when the 'war' was won on anti-consumer grounds - the perception that Bluray was going to be an impregnable DRM fortress preventing all fair use. IOW, the studios did it expressly to screw the consumer, not out of market forces or superior technology.
3) Everyone that had an HD-DVD player was an early adopter - the numbers are small, but each one is likely an evangelist of some degree, and any goodwill bought for the price of stamping a disc and thowing it in a cardboard box would likely be paid off by the acceleration of movies purchased by these early adopters (now that they don't feel burned) plus the additional blu-ray hardware and software sales driven by their influence on others.
4) Comparisons between DVD and HD-DVD are just pain silly, and I know you know that but here's the quick blow by blow to demonstrate just some of the reasons why. I bought my first DVD player 11 years ago so there's not much early adopter premise here, you can get your content off of them easily unlike HD-DVD, and the new players all play DVDs and likely will continue to indefintely whereas combo players will dry up soon.
Jethro - LG OLED65C7P, NB 3.0, Yam HTR6190, Polk, Harmony 680, Xbox One X