Sony's BDP-300 shipping with $499 price tag

Sony announced in February that it planned to ship its second-generation Blu-ray Disc player at $599.99 this summer – but before the product has even hit the market, the manufacture slashed the product’s price by $100. The BDP-300 is now officially set for $499.99, a price at half of what players cost at Blu-ray’s introduction.

When Blu-ray Disc players first hit the market, be it either the Samsung BD-P1000 or the Sony BDP-S1, they were selling for $999.99. Of course, when the PlayStation 3 hit, one could buy a 20GB machine capable of playing the new, high-def media for half that $499.99. Sony later discontinued the 20GB PS3, but even the $599.99 60GB machine was cheaper than any standalone Blu-ray player. Samsung also dropped prices for its second-generation offering, the BD-P1200, which comes in at $799.99.

The Sony BDP-300, at $499.99, will finally be the cheapest way to get into Blu-ray Disc players without buying one that comes with a gaming component. The move is likely a good one both for Sony’s electronics and gaming divisions. Those who were buying a PS3 for its Blu-ray movie capabilities, without any plans on buying any gaming software, were hurting Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.’s bottom line, as it is well publicized that the PS3 consoles are sold at a loss.

In April, a Sony subsidiary said that it was able to increase production of blue-violet laser diodes used in Blu-ray drives. The production jump and lowering prices of components were likely at play for new price of Sony’s player. The BDP-300 is shipping to retailers this week.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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