Wal-Mart, Amazon Go Into High Gear for Blu-ray

While Blu-ray Disc units and titles now demand more “shelf space” (both in retail stores and online) since the recent demise of HD DVD, two very different retailers are pushing Blu-ray products this month, although the bottom line remains that most HD disc players cost several times more than standard DVD progressive-scan units.

As of June 4, Amazon.com was offering a Samsung Blu-ray player for $299, which is 25 percent below MSRP compared to similar players typically retailing closer to $399. The Amazon “come-on” includes free shipping, and no one knows for sure how long the deal (or the supply) will last.

Wal-Mart, for its part, soon plans to offer Blu-ray consumers a $100 gift certificate when purchasing a variety of players—including Sony’s BDP-S300 ($388) and the Magnavox NB500MG9 ($298). Other makers’ players also are expected to be included for a sale that runs June 8-14, according to Blu-ray.com.

The $100 gift card cannot be used to lower the price of the player, but may be used to buy Blu-ray titles, among other products, including some Blu-ray packaged content specially discounted to $15 for the one-week sale.