Originally Posted by longfellowfan
If it gets to $350 by christmas of this year this "war" is over.
Not to interject the obvious, but I believe you're assuming that BR player pricing will drop to that level while HD-DVD player pricing would remain constant. The only problem is that there already is an HD-DVD player street priced for close to that amount (Toshiba HD-A2 currently selling for $385). HD-DVD player prices will continue to decrease as well.
While a BR standalone may in fact get to $350 this year, how does that play if there is a $250 HD-DVD player competing with it?
For example, using Amazon as a barometer (yes it's not perfect, but bear with me), the sales rank of the A2 has been approximately an order of magnitude smaller (better seller) than the highest selling BR standalone virtually every day for the last month. Now, we don't know how many units that order of magnitude translates to; it could be selling 20 units versus selling 2, or it could be selling 4 units versus 2. The only thing that is certain is that the A2 has sold more units on a daily basis. Price matters.
People can scream "Content!" all they want, but cheap sells. Sure, the HT enthusiasts here tend to lean towards quality, but for the mass consumer, "It's the price, dummy!" We get hung up on High resolution audio options and TruHD versus PCM, DTS Master Audio, etc. and split hairs to the Nth degree, disregarding the fact that the vast majority of consumers don't know or couldn't care less about anything other than "Is it gunna give sound on all 5 of my speakers and make the room shake?" Other than that they're going to opt for the cheaper player, especially if the difference is more than $100.
We here at AVS as early adopters are overly sensitized to release schedules and the current disparity in favor of Blu-Ray. Why? We've been snapping up newly released titles since day 1 (for the most part). For an average consumer just entering the fray now, they're probably not seeing any difference in releases in favor of BR, as the incremental difference between formats isn't even on their radar. They're walking into Best Buy or other stores and seeing shelves that are approximately equal (right now) in number of titles, and they're *ALL* new to them. So that's less of an issue to the J6P buyer.
Now this could obviously shift if the release slate stays heavily weighted in BR's favor for a long period of time; if the consumer walks into BB and sees a BR selection 4x or 5x that of HD-DVD, that certainly would have an effect. We're not there yet.
The other variables that could affect this in the next 12 months are TotalHD and universal players. Both could have the effect of making any content disparity across formats moot, depending on their success.