Microsoft announced price cut of Xbox HD DVD drive in Europe

Microsoft announced Monday a 20-euro cut in the price of its HD DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360 gaming console, dealing a new blow to the rival Blu-ray disc system. The blue-laser high-definition-disc drives are to retail in Europe for 180 euros (244 dollars). (I paid 199 US Dollars 6 months ago at BestBuy, […]

Microsoft announced Monday a 20-euro cut in the price of its HD DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360 gaming console, dealing a new blow to the rival Blu-ray disc system.

The blue-laser high-definition-disc drives are to retail in Europe for 180 euros (244 dollars). (I paid 199 US Dollars 6 months ago at BestBuy, now it is 179 US Dollars)

Stand-alone movie players for the HD DVD format are to be offered in Europe for less than 300 euros, Toshiba said last week at the IFA consumer-electronics trade show in Berlin. That is about half the European price of the cheapest Blu-ray movie player. The Blu-ray and HD DVD camps are in a technology war with one another to persuade shoppers their technology is better to save and play movies in high definition.

In essence, Blu-ray discs can store more data, but HD DVD disc are cheaper to mass produce and the players are cheaper too. Both camps have focussed on gaming consoles as a key to getting enough players into the marketplace. Sony sells its PlayStation 3 with a Blu-ray drive built in, often with a package of free movies as well.

Manfred Gerdes, chief of Sony Germany, says European sales of the PS3 have totalled 2 million to date, double the number of set-top Blu-ray movie players.

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