Blu-Ray Players "Hit The Sweet Point"
After trouncing Toshiba's HD-DVD format, Sony's Blu-Ray is now the only option for true high-definition movie and video game viewing. And now, TVPredictions.com reports that David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, says that Blu-Ray player prices have "hit the sweet point."
Up until now, surveys proved that most consumers were leery about purchasing a new Blu-Ray player due to the relatively high cost. It wasn't long ago that an entry-level BD player cost $399, which was three times the cost of a regular DVD player. But retailers have cut prices way down for the holiday season, as some players are now just $200, and the latest sales numbers have lifted as a direct result. Said Bishop:
"As is evidenced by the sell-off of Blu-ray players over Black Friday weekend, I would say we hit the sweet spot regarding price. Some stores were sold out by 9:30 a.m. (on Black Friday). Clearly, it is a top gift item. There will be more price-point-oriented promotions throughout December and that momentum will continue."
In addition, Bishop said that the Blu-Ray release of "Hancock" sold over 300,000 copies in its first six days of availability, and that a strong holiday season could really give Blu-Ray a huge kick towards prominence. Provided no other format shows up, Blu-Ray remains the only high-definition option for consumers, and they're slowly starting to realize that fact. Bishop's conclusion was unsurprisingly optimistic:
"The positive in all this is the momentum we are getting from Blu-ray. It is continuing to grow and 200% to 300% year-over-year, and the ratio of Blu-ray and DVD sales continues to rise. That calls for optimism. For anyone who said that people would just go to digital and skip Blu-ray that has certainly been proven not to be true. Even if you took Blu-ray separately as a revenue stream, it is probably 20 times larger than digital revenue."
Hey, let's not forget that the PlayStation 3 is the best Blu-Ray player available, even though it's priced at $399. But we have to assume that even the most out-of-touch consumer realizes the PS3 has more to offer than just BD playback...
12/8/2008 Ben Dutka