Sony Strikes Back in DVD War with Cheaper Blu-Ray Player

Dennis Faas's picture

Right now, the cheapest way to watch Blu-Ray movies is with the $500 20 GB model of the PlayStation 3 (the 60 GB model is a hundred dollars more). Standalone players currently cost twice that much.

However, PS3s have been hard to find. Plus, older consumers who aren't as tech-savvy may not understand exactly how the PS3 works -- or they may be gun-shy about purchasing a video game unit just to play movies.

Whatever the case may be, Sony plans to rectify those problems by releasing a cheaper standalone Blu-Ray player this summer. At $599, the new "BDP-S300" Blu-Ray model won't be cheaper than the 20 GB version of the PS3 -- but it will be the cheapest pure Blu-Ray machine on the market and on par in price with the beefed up 60 GB model of PS3. (Source:

According to Randy Waynick, the senior vice president of Sony Electronics' home products division, the $599 Blu-Ray player will have the same capabilities as the $999 BDP-S1 model -- for $400 less.

HD-DVD players are already available for even cheaper -- with Toshiba and other companies selling $499 units. And if you have an Xbox 360, you can add HD-DVD functionality for a mere $199. (Sources: and

But for true technophiles, a $499 Blu-Ray machine with the power of its older $1,000 brother may be hard to resist.

Still, waiting to see a winner in the DVD format war may not be a bad idea. In a roundabout way, even Sony (kinda, sorta) advises the same for anyone who doesn't have the budget to splurge one of these new "super" DVD players.

That's because Blu-Ray prices are expected to fall even further.

In fact, further than you could possibly imagine.

The president of Sony Electronics, Stan Glasgow, predicts that Blu-Ray players will be under $500 by Christmas. And, "over time," he said, "I think it will be just like DVD" -- with $50 Blu-Ray players on the market. (Source:

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