NEWS - Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Microsoft Cuts The Price Of HD-DVD Unit In Europe

At IFA, Microsoft has made another step to help the HD-DVD format. The maker of Xbox 360 announced a 20-euro cut in the price of its HD DVD add-on drive for the gaming console. According to the Redmond company, the blue-laser high-definition-disc drives are to retail in Europe for 180 euros ($244). This move follows a similar announcement made by the company last month, when Microsoft announced that the price of the HD-DVD player in US will be $179 instead of $199. Also Toshiba said last week at the IFA 2007 that stand-alone movie players for the HD DVD format are to be offered in Europe for less than 300 euros, which means $390. The players will go on sale in the European market before Christmas. Both camps, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, have focused on gaming consoles as a key to getting enough players into the marketplace. Sony sells its PlayStation 3 with a Blu-ray drive built in, often with a package of free movies as well. Manfred Gerdes, chief of Sony Germany, says European sales of the PS3 have totalled 2 million to date, double the number of set-top Blu-ray movie players. Also the Blu-Ray held a news conference at IFA 2007 to announce a slew of new titles for European release. Twentieth Century Fox said it would bring out 29 new titles in Europe on Blu-ray and Sony said Spider Man 3 would be out as a two-disc set in Europe in October. But other electronic makers are seeking methods to end the rivalry between the two formats. For example Samsung presented its dual-player BD-UP500, which is able to play both formats. A Samsung Europe executive, Mike Henkelmann, said the player will go on sale before the Christmas shopping season. The SouthKorean electronic maker LG, which already has a hybrid player on the market, said in Berlin it would introduce a "new-generation" model by the end of the year.


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