$200 Blu-ray in a Year, Says Sony

They say the waiting is the hardest part.

For HD DVD early adopters and other Blu-ray hold-outs, a Blu-ray player priced around $200 would be the only motivation needed to make the plunge into that high-def format. Unfortunately, its going to be a while.

Just about the only people who can get a Blu-ray player for around $200 today are those who have the option to return their HD DVD players to Circuit City, which is accepting trade-ins. The price difference between most new HD DVD players and Blu-ray players is around $200.

For the rest of us, Blu-ray prices won't bottom out at $200 until 2009, according to Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow, who spoke with reporters this week. By the 2008 holiday season, Sony's Blu-ray pricing should hit about $299.

But that doesn't mean Sony's competitors - such as Sharp and Samsung - can't undercut their prices and appeal to those on-the-fence HD DVD-owners. The real threat to Sony's pricing, of course, is cheap Chinese manufacturing, but Sony's Glasgow isn't too worried about that. "Will there be Chinese players? Yes," he said. "But we don't need to drive that and hand the technology over." Rather than capitulating to Chinese licensees, Glasgow said Sony will sell a healthy 5 million Blu-ray players by the end of 2008. Will you be a buyer? -Rachel Rosmarin

New York Times