Despite widespread predictions of doom for the HD DVD fomat following the defection of Warner Bros. Studios to Blu-ray, Toshiba is doing its best to keep the format alive by appealing to consumers with the one tactic they (seemingly) can’t resist: slashed prices. The company announced on Monday that it will begin “extended pricing strategies” in mid-January, the likes of which are already being spotted at online retailers.
Toshiba’s new HD-A3 player, which retailers only recently cleared shelves for before the holidays, debuted with an MSRP of $299.99, but that figure has recently been dropped down to $149.99. Retailers such as Amazon and Tiger Direct have cut prices even further below list, offering the player for $134.98 and $129.99, respectively. The pricier HD-A30 model with full 1080p resolution has dropped to a list price of $199.99, from an original price of $399.99 just back in September.
Meanwhile, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and Sharp all have entry level Blu-ray players priced at $499.99. While retailer discounts drop this price into the mid-$300 level, HD DVD will still have the upper hand in affordability for the time being. Whether or not it will be enough to save the format remains to be seen.