Home opinion-and-analysis Beer Files Sony slashes $100 off Blu-ray players; is PS3 next?

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For the first time Sony's Blu-ray players are cheaper than its PlayStation 3 console, after the company announced a US$100 cut off the price of the BDP-S300 player to US$499. The move begs the question: can Sony now afford not to also slash the price of PS3?

One of the saving graces of the massively disappointing sales of PS3 to date has been the fact that it was the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market - at least the equal cheapest. Video buffs could not only get a high definition Blu-ray player for a relatively reasonable price but they got the added bonus of a gaming console.

In turn, it has been the PS3 that is arguably helping Blu-ray win the high definition format war against the HD DVD camp by getting Blu-ray players into the homes of gamers. Even its relatively poor PS3 console sales still outsize the fledgling but gradually picking up momentum high definition video player market.

All that changed today. By cutting the price of the BDP-S300, Sony has in effect severed the link between the PS3 and Blu-ray players. If a video enthusiast just wants a Blu-ray player, the PS3 is no longer an option because it's now too expensive.

In effect, Sony has just kicked out one of the legs supporting the table of its still struggling PS3 business. With both Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360 walloping the PS3 at the cash register, a lack of exclusive PS3 titles to choose from and still plenty of grumbling from gamers at the price, having one less reason for consumers to buy its next gen console is something Sony can ill afford.

Of course, all of the above assumes that Sony is not going to drop the price of PS3 to match that of the BDP-S300. After all the nightmarish blunders of the past year in the consoles space and still sluggish sales, it is hard to imagine that Sony could possibly believe that leaving the PS3 at US$599 is now a viable proposition. Then again, after what's gone on in the past year, it may not be that hard to imagine.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 25 years of experience working in Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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