Sony has reported dismal financials for last year, due in large part to all the money they lost on the Playstation 3 by selling them with Blu-ray drives at less than the manufacturing costs. Now Toshiba is turning up the heat in the high definition DVD race by cutting prices on their HD DVD models.
A new rebate program offers $100 off the entry level HD-A2 model, starting Sunday, May 20. This drops the price by 25% to $299. And for the last week of the promotion, June 10 through 16, the $100 rebate will apply to any of Toshiba’s HD DVD players. During that time, consumers who also purchase a Toshiba HDTV 42″ or larger will get an additional $100 rebate.
Toshiba is also running a separate promotion; through July 31, any customer who purchases a Toshiba HD DVD player will receive their choice of five HD DVD titles from a list of 15 titles that include Apollo 13, Dukes of Hazard, Blazing Saddles, and The Perfect Storm.
The bottom line here is that Toshiba is willing to assign significant resources to promote HD DVD, especially as we enter the slow season for consumer electronics sales. And you can expect that these discounts will become permanent by the time that the holiday season rolls around. The HD DVD camp has a strong price advantage over Blu-ray, and these prices will make it more difficult for both Blu-ray and the new hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD drives to compete for consumer dollars.