over the weekend that Microsoft pulled
the plug on its Xbox 360 HD DVD player. The move was not surprising
considering that Toshiba, maker of the drive, already decided to get out of the
HD DVD hardware market.
We noted in the article that it would only be a matter of
time before a "fire sale" would commence on the discontinued player.
Today, Best Buy confirmed our suspicions by slashing
the player's price to $49.99.
The $49.99 price is likely the bottom end for the player
which has seen its MSRP drop from $199.99 to $179.99 to $129.99
over the past year.
The Xbox 360 HD DVD player is available for shipping on Best
Buy's website, or if you prefer, in-store pickup is available if you wish to
get it even sooner.
Potential buyers should keep in mind that Microsoft still
intends to provide product support and warranty service for the Xbox 360 HD DVD
player. Customers are also still eligible to receive five
free HD DVD movies via a mail-in rebate [PDF] if they so choose.
The peripheral as its name implies is primarily targeted at
Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, however, it can also be used on Windows-based PCs.
Microsoft stated from the beginning that it was giving
its customers a choice by providing the HD DVD player as an optional
accessory instead of making it standard as with Sony's PlayStation 3.
The gamble to include the Blu-ray drive as standard
equipment on every PS3 sold may
turn out to be a boon for Sony as its console outsold the Xbox 360 for the
first time ever in the U.S. during
the month of January -- Warner Bros. announced its decision
to back Blu-ray in early January.
For its part, Microsoft attributed the less than stellar
January sales to Xbox 360 shortages.