Toshiba Confirms HD DVD Price Drop

Confirming speculation that it was set to announce a price drop in its players, Toshiba said Wednesday that it would lower the cost of its entry-level HD DVD player to $399 USD, and would debut a 1080p player at $499 USD.

The Toshiba HD-A2 would become the new entry-level player, and the HD-A20 will provide an affordable entry point for those seeking full 1080p resolution. The top of the line HD-XA2, which also includes 1080p, was already reduced to $799 USD at the beginning of the month.

In conjunction with the announcement of the price drop, the HD DVD Promotional Group also said more than 70 HD DVD movie will be made available through July.

They include The Complete Matrix Trilogy, March of the Penguins, Nutty Professor, Dreamgirls, The Meaning of Life, and The Bourne Identity, among others.

"The spring is ramping up well for HD DVD, with an incredible list of movies and the best priced hardware on the market," Universal's HD DVD chief Ken Graffeo said. The studio also reports that consumers are buying discs at a rate higher than the early years of standard DVD.

Universal is the only major studio to exclusively support the format. Others, like Paramount and Warner Home Video, are producing discs for both Blu-ray and HD DVD.

Blu-ray practically claimed victory at the CeBIT technology conference in Germany earlier this month, and the HD DVD Promotions Group has conceded that it is being outsold in hardware by a five-to-one margin due to Sony's PlayStation 3 supporting Blu-ray.

However, HD DVD disputes claims by the BDA that it is also losing the battle elsewhere, saying disc sales are pretty much even.

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