Sony Closes HD Player Price Gap

Jun 7, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Sony is closing the price gap between its entry-level Blu-Ray player and rival Toshiba’s HD-DVD player.
In what some media reports are calling the fastest price decline in consumer electronics history, the BDP-S300 Blu-ray player will carry a price tag of $499. That’s $100 less than what was originally announced, and about half the price of the first round of Blu-ray players introduced about six months ago.
The reduction follows Toshiba’s drastic price-cutting on its HD-A2 to $299, with some reports of that player hitting as low as $238 during Memorial Day weekend.
Industry experts had expected the format battle to result in drastic price cuts in time for the 2007 holiday season. The dramatic declines in early spring came as a surprise. With the news, the Blu-ray DVD format regained the sales lead against HD-DVD on Amazon.com. Pete Putman, president of Roam Consulting and author of the HDTVExpert.com Web site, said the recent news marks a significant turn in the HD battle.
“The key psychological price point is $299,” Mr. Putman said. “Once people see that and ‘HD’ in the same sentence, I think sales will pick up a lot. Another key is to start getting these blue laser titles aggressively into the Hollywood Videos and Blockbusters of the world, so people see they are a mainstream product.”
Both Mr. Putnam and Bruce Leichtman, president of Leichtman Research Group, said they expect the cat-and-mouse pricing game to continue for some time before any victor emerges.
“We’re still in the early stages,” Mr. Leichtman said. “They’re both still trying to posture for position.”


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