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IFA: Microsoft, Toshiba Cut Xbox, HD DVD Player Prices in Europe

Microsoft has shaved about $27 off the price of the optional HD DVD drive for its Xbox 360 game console, in the next-gen disc camp’s latest attempt to pressure rival Blu-ray Disc proponents to lower their price points as well, the company announced at the iFA tech show in Berlin. The HD DVD add-on drive for Xbox 360 will now run just under $245.

While both incompatible disc formats use blue-laser technology, the set-up process for Blu-ray hardware is more costly to initially configure for mass production on the assembly line—and thus, to manufacture—than its lone HD disc competitor, HD DVD. Blu-ray discs, however, have higher storage capacities.

Meanwhile, Toshiba said its HD DVD standalone players in Europe soon would be available for less than $400 (a few hundred dollars less than European Blu-ray price points).

Toshiba also said it plans to unveil a few new HD DVD player models targeted for store shelves in time for the upcoming holiday season (while Sony and others plan have similar plans over in the Blu-ray camp).