Is it Black Friday already? The street price for a high definition DVD player has dipped below $200 for the first time, and we’re not even in the heat of the holiday buying season yet. I should not have to even mention what technology the player uses; at this price, it can only be HD DVD. No Blu-ray player comes close in terms of price. Circuit City started this by lowering the price of the Toshiba HD-A2 to $197.99 with free shipping. (Note that this could also be seen as another sign that Circuit City is nervous about consumer electronics sales this season, and is one more indication that manufacturers and retailers will likely resort to serious price cuts to move inventory.) Amazon soon matched the offer, and others are sure to follow.
Now, it’s true that the second generation HD-A2 is slated to be replaced by the third generation HD-A3 and has some feature limitations, but that’s a small detail in the larger picture. HD DVD is continuing to press its price advantage over Blu-ray, and I fully expect to see HD DVD to win the competition for player sales over the next two months. Sales of the discs will then follow. Blu-ray’s early lead from the PS3 sales is about to evaporate.