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HD DVD players get a sales lift thanks to sub-$100 pricing

The battle in the next generation high-definition DVD format war is far from over. HD DVD and Blu-ray have been fighting it out in the market for roughly a year and neither side shows any signs of giving up the fight.

In late October, DailyTech reported that Blu-ray disc sales held a commanding lead over HD DVD for the first nine months of 2007. Blu-ray outsold HD DVD by a 2-to-1 ratio racking up sales of 2.6 million units versus 1.4 million units for HD DVD.

Since the inception of both standards, a total of 3.01 million Blu-ray discs and 1.97 million HD DVD discs have been sold.

Toshiba, the main backer for HD DVD, decided to turn the tables a bit in order to swing the sales momentum back in its direction. One by one, retailers started dropping the price of the second generation Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player. Wal-Mart dropped the price of the player from $299.99 to $198 in late October. Circuit City and Amazon both followed suit pricing the player at $197.99.

On November 1, DailyTech brought you news of Wal-Mart's secret in-store sale which listed the price of the HD-A2 at an unheard of $98.87. Soon after, Best Buy countered by pricing the player at $99.99. Sales of the player were so furious at BestBuy.com that the stock was depleted leaving backorders to be fulfilled with the third-generation HD-A3 at no additional charge.

It appears that Toshiba efforts to drive down the price of entry for HD DVD paid off. Video Business reports that 90,000 Toshiba HD DVD players were sold over the weekend thanks to the price drops.

For comparison, Sony has sold 100,000 of its $499 BDP-S300 set top player since its introduction during the summer.

Despite the weekend surge in HD DVD player sales, Sony can still claim the largest install base with its Blu-ray hardware. Since its introduction in November 2006, Sony had shipped over 5.51 million PlayStation 3 consoles -- each of which features a Blu-ray drive.





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