The fightback has begun in the HD wars, with HD DVD backer Toshiba slashing prices on its players to try and compete with its Blu-ray rivals. In the US, its cheapest HD DVD player will now cost $149 – half its previous official price – while even its high-end player has seen a big cut to $299.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Toshiba’s high-end HD-EP30 HD DVD player has been spotted on sale for £179. However, the rhetoric from Toshiba’s Yoshi Uchiyama in the US begs a few questions:
“While price is one of the consideration elements for the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer. Consumer sales this holiday season have proven that the consumer awareness of the HD DVD format has been elevated and pricing is the most critical determinant in consumer’s purchase decision of the next generation HD DVD technology.”
Surely as important is consumers’ fear over being lumbered with a next-gen Betamax, and even more immediately, the availability of a big catalogue of films to watch? In which context, the price drop can be seen as an attempt to shift as many HD DVD players as possible before Warner stops selling HD DVD movies later this year…
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