It looks like retailers and electronics makers are realising they’re going to have to cut prices on Blu-ray disc players sooner than later if they have any hope that Blu-ray is ever going to take off. Smart move: Blu-ray players were way too expensive at $400. WSJ:
Entry-level Blu-ray players have dropped to below $230 at major retailers including Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. Some experts predict that promotional prices may fall below $150 on Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. Earlier this year, most Blu-ray players retailed for $400 or so.
Does this mean everyone is going to run out and buy Blu-ray players? No. Will it help? Yes.
Also helping: The fact that after much tinkering, no one has figured out Internet movie rentals and downloads yet — today’s products are still too limited in selection, compatible equipment, quality, price, etc.
But plenty of companies are trying to make digital delivery work — Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), Comcast (CMCSA), etc. — and someday, one of them is going to get it right. (We hope, for instance, that Netflix is courting these low-end Blu-ray player makers as aggressively as it courted LG and Samsung to get its Internet movie streaming service embedded on those $150 Blu-ray players.)
Bottom line: It’s still too early to write off Blu-ray. But if its backers have any hope that it’s going to take off, step one is slashing prices on players — and just as important, discs — immediately.