Sony's New Blu-ray Players Still Pricey

After making announcements in Europe regarding its Blu-ray disc player lineup late last month, Sony used the backdrop of CEDIA 2007 to announce its two newest players for the North American market.

However here in the states, Sony's Blu-ray players are none the cheaper. The new BDP-S500 will cost approximately $700 USD, while the top-of-the-line BDP-S2000ES will set the consumer back about $1,300 USD. Both are expected to begin shipping this fall.

Most of the functionality between the two new players is the same, with support for 1080/24p, Dolby TrueHD and Digital Plus, HDMI 1.3 ports. The enhancements to the S2000ES seem to be more in the way of manufacturing, with dual shield construction and a rigid beam chassis.

"From the enthusiast level of our ES line down to the entry-level models, our commitment to the finest quality video and sound delivered by the BD format has never been stronger." Sony's home entertainment chief Chris Fawcett said in a statement.

Even with all the marketing speak, what is undeniable is the fact that price is still very much driving the market for next-generation DVD formats. With neither side able to yet make a coherent argument as to why its format is better, much of the sales have been driven by external factors, such as price for HD DVD and on Blu-ray's side the PlayStation 3.

Despite Blu-ray's considerable lead in the number of players shipped (when including the PS3), its actual sales of movie titles has yet to match that lead. HD DVD has been able to consistently keep its competitor at bay with cheaper set-top players, where it holds a 2-to-1 lead in sales.

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