≡ Menu

Next-Gen Discs Now More Affordable (But Players Aren’t)

Amid all the recent hype surrounding Bluray,another newfangled, high-capacitystorage medium has nearly become an afterthought.And even though HD DVDmanufacturers appear determined tomake the technology a legitimatecontender to the new optical disccrown, pricing options still aren’tattractive—for either technology.Starting in August, UniversalStudios plans to drop prices onits HD DVD movie titles from$34.95 to $29.95, but pricesfor HD DVD/DVD hybrid discswon’t change. Meanwhile, earlyBlu-ray titles are already pricedreasonably, with some retailers sellingmovies for as low as $19.99, butconsumers should expect similarlypriced HD DVD discs soon because the newprices reflect only the suggested retail.

Yet for most consumers, movie pricesare moot when considering the fact thatdedicated HD DVD players still hoveraround the $500 mark, while Blu-rayplayers are even more expensive.Although manufacturers promiseless expensive equipment in thenear future, many observersdon’t expect truly affordablenext-generation players untilSony’s PlayStation 3 appearslater this year.With an integrated Blu-raydrive, the PS3 gaming consolecould drastically impact the Bluraymarket, where gamers willlikely want to rent Blu-ray titles bythe millions, which, in turn, willboost the availability of Blu-ray mediaand dedicated players, as well as decreasetheir prices.