Sony BPD-S300  (Source: Sony Corp.)
Sony will pay Target to put Blu-ray Disc player on display

Target is getting behind Blu-ray Disc in its choices for product availability this holiday season. The massive retailer said that it will begin stocking the Sony BDP-S300 for $499 in October and display it alongside Blu-ray movies.

Target denies that it is actively picking one format as preferred over the other, and says that it will continue to offer movies in both formats.

"We are not proclaiming one format vs. the other as the preferred consumer technology, and software will continue to be available to our guests in both the Blu-ray and HD DVD format," Target spokeswoman Brie Heath said to the Associated Press.

According to the Reuters story, Sony said that Target will exclusively carry Blu-ray players "at least through the holiday season" and will also expand its inventory of Blu-ray discs. Such comments from the electronics company point to the belief that Target’s choice to support Blu-ray this year is fuelled by a marketing deal with Sony.

The AP also reports that Sony is paying a fee to have its Blu-ray player featured in the end-of-aisle display, although Sony executives said that the endcap was a Target decision.

Target does not currently carry any standalone high-definition movie players in its stores. The only HD-capable players carried in the retailer’s electronics department are the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 HD DVD drive.

Both sides of the high-def format war have traded blows since their inception. Blu-ray has consistently led the software sales charts, while the HD DVD camp boasts that it has greater sales for standalone machines.

The Blu-ray side scored another victory in June, when Blockbuster announced that it would begin stocking Blu-ray Disc movies in its stores.

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