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Sony to offer Blu-ray player for $400 less

Sony today revealed plans to release a cheaper Blu-ray player this summer. The high price of current Blu-ray players is often cited as a reason for consumers holding off on buying into high definition movies.


Currently, Sony offers the BDP-S1 Blu-ray player for $999, a price aimed at the most hardcore of home theater enthusiasts. The company plans to release a new model, the BDP-S300, priced at $599 and says that the new player will offer all the functionality of the BDP-S1 plus the added ability to play CDs. The newer BDP-S300 will also be smaller and more compact than the BDP-S1, and is about the same size as a DVD player.


The BDP-S300 will bring standalone Blu-ray players in line with the market’s current cheapest way to watch Blu-ray movies—the PlayStation 3. Even at $599, the BDP-S300 won’t be the cheapest entry fee into the next-generation format. For $499, a consumer can buy Blu-ray functionality in the form of a 20GB PlayStation 3, which boasts nearly equal Blu-ray performance to standalone players.


At half the price of Sony’s $999 standalone player, home theater fans may be finding the PS3’s video playing bang-for-buck irresistible. According to Sony VP Randy Waynick, “Eighty percent of people who buy a PS3 also buy Blu-ray movies to go with it,” which could help account for Blu-ray’s recent surge against HD DVD.


Even at PlayStation 3 or the upcoming BDP-S300 prices, consumers may still find the cost of high definition movies still too great. The situation is less severe, but similar on the side of HD DVD, where players can be found for $400, or even less if one has an Xbox 360.


Sony has expressed difficulties in turning a profit in a market dominated by $50 DVD players, but continues to promise lower prices on Blu-ray hardware. Stan Glasgow, president of Sony said that by Christmas, prices for Blu-ray players should be down below $500. Exceptionally cheap Blu-ray players are still years away, but Glasgow expressed his believe that one day we may see a $50 Blu-ray player. “Over time, I think it will be just like DVD,” he said.

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I find it interesting...
By daftrok on 2/26/2007 4:36:20 PM , Rating: 3
I find it interesting that the same company that makes the Playstation 3 is making Blu-ray players that cost a grand or half a grand. According to DailyTech, the Playstation 3 Blu-ray drive costs around 100-150 dollars. So shouldn't they be a bit more competitive and make these players $299.99? It would make the transition to HD movies a lot easier for consumers, literally CRUSH HD DVD, decrease the price of Blu-ray drives which in turn would decrease the price of the Playstation 3, AND still be making $100+ profit for each unit sold.

RE: I find it interesting...
By Spyvie on 2/26/2007 4:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
I’m no expert on this, and certainly no fan of Sony, but I think a big part of the cost of one of these next generation players is the CPU/GPU and the memory. The PS3 already has these parts so they just need to add the drive for $150 or so, a stand alone player requires its own CPU/GPU and related hardware so the cost is higher.


RE: I find it interesting...
By fk49 on 2/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: I find it interesting...
By Lazarus Dark on 2/26/2007 5:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
I've looked at those bluray drives on newegg too. remember those are burners and the xb360 hddvd addon is a player only. That said $200 is the magic number for me. When a bd rom drive comes out under 200 i'm there. I might go to 300 for a combo drive. I'll wait for burners to come under 200. My first dvd player was when the first ones came out for 200, though it was a pretty low featured player. But I'm going all htpc. Why buy a standalone linux box that only plays hddvd or bluray like the 1500 first gen players, when my pc can already do it with just a rom drive.

Why did they start with burners anyway? When are the cheap rom only hd drives coming out?

RE: I find it interesting...
By Gatt on 2/26/2007 10:54:41 PM , Rating: 1
Pioneer showcased a BR drive for the PC at CES that's supposed to be out in the Q2 this year, at under $400.

And to the post above. HD-DVD will *not* win over PC's. The cost/time ratio between HD-DVD's 30gigs compared to BR's 50 is enough to insure that HD-DVD is done.

Plus, the last HD-DVD studio's getting ready to jump ship, HD-DVD's dead. Go look at Universal's site, all HD-DVD emblems are gone, and they've no HD-DVD release schedule for 2007 anymore.

RE: I find it interesting...
By ATC on 2/27/2007 10:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
HD-DVD's days are literally numbered. Every single movie studio has pledged full support for BD except Universal, Warner and Paramount. But Warner and Paramount reversed their decision and now support Blu-Ray.

So...the only holdout left is Universal and it's really only a matter of time till they follow suite and support BD and once that happens it will be the official nail in the coffin for HD-DVD.

As mentioned, even going by merely capacity advantages, let alone the vast support by PC hardware manufacturers and OEMs, HD-DVD does not have a chance to be the next optical drive standard on PCs.

Even without Universal Studios support, we're seeing an increase in titles released on BD and almost a halt on releases for HD-DVD. What surprised me most though is that movies released on both formats simultaneously, such as The Departed, in Canada the BD version is $5 cheaper than the HD-DVD version.

RE: I find it interesting...
By FearlessUser on 2/27/2007 8:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
Plus, the last HD-DVD studio's getting ready to jump ship, HD-DVD's dead. Go look at Universal's site, all HD-DVD emblems are gone
I see a big one at the bottom. Anyone else? And the latest major release they have on their site is The Hitcher which comes out 5/1/07. On HD-DVD as well.

Stop it with the FUD and educate yourself.

RE: I find it interesting...
By timmiser on 2/28/2007 2:44:23 AM , Rating: 2
Stop it with the FUD and educate yourself.

Point taken.

From the HD-DVD website, there are 133 currently available HD-DVD movies and 12 "coming soon" movies.

From the Sony Style website, there are 217 currently available Blue Ray movies and 25 "coming soon" movies.

RE: I find it interesting...
By Belard on 2/28/2007 8:27:50 AM , Rating: 2
I did fine M$ XB360 site saying "People prefer HD-DVD over blu-ray 2 to 1...

And when the PS3 started shipping, The number of BR titles were about 5 or so short of HD-DVD (about 130 titles).

When Disney said they were joining the BR-CAMP, I said "That it", since that company one of the biggest sellers of DVD/Video on the market...

Guess HD-DVD is left for Porn... A bit cheaper.

PS: The $200 xbox drive of course drove the price of the Xbox360 well above the cost of a PS3... and then you have 2 devices plugged into your A/V setup..

Still.. many of us will wait until the dust clears a lot more and the prices are around $300 or less... But cool thing is, BR-Burners going for $500 off the shelf. not bad.

RE: I find it interesting...
By Zelvek on 2/27/2007 1:02:52 AM , Rating: 2
They probably started with burners because at first you could not play blu-ray disks (other than the ones you made) on your PC and because such a large capacity disk is perfect for backing up. At least thats how I figure it.

RE: I find it interesting...
By timmiser on 2/28/2007 2:46:00 AM , Rating: 2
Plus Sony was first to market with the consumer level hd camcorder therefore this is their outlet to provide the ability to make your own BR home movies.

RE: I find it interesting...
By AlexWade on 2/26/2007 4:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
You also have to remember several things. (1) The other hardware besides the player. It takes a lot of processing power for HD movies. Add another $150 for the other electronics plus the cost for other miscellaneous stuff. (2) HD DVD players are a lot cheaper to make, therefore, if Sony is able to lower the price, Toshiba will be too. Plus, the HD DVD camp has got some Chinese manufacturers on their side, meaning you should expect sub $200 HD DVD players by year's end.

What shocks me the most is, not the price, but that Sony is actually letting a standalone Blu-Ray player sell for that cheap. This is the first good move Sony has made in a long time. This will also drive down HD DVD prices. What I'm interested in is will this be a good thing or a bad thing for Blu-Ray. It will force HD DVD to go cheaper, which may in turn mean that more people will buy HD DVD players.

By ObscureCaucasian on 2/28/2007 4:15:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's interesting, a low priced BR player is good for Blu Ray, but can be bad for PS3. It could take away the people who buy a PS3 for only movies, but Sony may stand to make more money off a format than they do off a console (although I tend to think otherwise).

RE: I find it interesting...
By MrSmurf on 2/26/2007 11:49:34 PM , Rating: 1
The actual Blu-Ray drive just reads the data off the disc. You still need a bunch other stuff to process what's off the disc the way a PC isn't just the cost of a DVD-RW drive.

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