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10.15.2008 12:00AM
Blu-ray Alert: Sony Rules Out PS3 Price Cut for Holidays
Content providers and other proponents of Blu-ray Disc will not likely be happy at this news: While Sony was shrewd enough (especially in hindsight) to make certain that every one of its PlayStation 3 game consoles contains a Blu-ray drive, the Japanese electronics firm does not plan any type of price break on PS3s for the upcoming holiday sales season that will kick off on Black Friday, Nov. 28.

The fact that Blu-ray players from Sony and others, as well as the HD format's package content (notably movies) are noticeably pricier than most standard DVD products—coupled with a highly uncertain economic climate that already has retailers worried—could result in an interesting scenario for Blu-ray this holiday season as backers try to gain some traction in the video disc market.

"The answer is yes if you're asking, 'Are these the prices we're going with this Christmas?'" Kazuo Hirai told The Financial Times. Hirai is president and group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment.

While it remains unclear just how many PS3 owners actually use their gaming devices to play Blu-ray movie content on their units, the inclusion of Blu-ray hardware in each and every PS3 console was seen as one more important factor in why Blu-ray won the HD disc format war earlier this year over HD DVD.

If the harrowing economy pressures holiday shoppers in North America and overseas to opt for lower prices more than usual this year, Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's most basic Xbox may be well-positioned. At about $200, either console currently sells for about half the going rate of the lowest-priced PS3 (although Sony Blu-ray standalone players often sell for far less).



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