Originally Posted by cybereality
Yes, this is a very true point. PS3 is great, but I doubt it's ever going to reach mass-market prices. Even 4-5 years down the line, I doubt the PS3 will ever be under $199. HD-DVD players are already reaching those prices. And by that time HD-DVD players will be like $50 from China. The PS3's relevance in the format war will only be for the next year at most. By that time stand-alone sales will have likely eclipsed any console factor. If Sony and BDA are still relying of the PS3 at that time, they're are going to be in for a big surprise.
Cost is absolutely the driving force, especially in Europe. Browsing through Amazon UK, the HD-E1 (HD-A2 equivalent) sells for about $400 + shipping. Way more than in the US.
The cheapest Blu-Ray player was $900, and some sell for almost $2,000! The PS3 sells for $800. Xbox 360 core sells for $400.
In the dvd player top 100 category, the HD-E1 was ranked about #30. I didn't see a single BR player in the top 100.
The Xbox 360 addon is about $220 shipped and that is interesting since it is reasonably close to the USA price. It seems to be showing strong interest both as an addon to the Xbox, and as a HD DVD player for a HTPC. This is not surprising considering it's by far the lowest price point for anyone that already has a decent HTPC or Xbox.
Reading through the comments for the HD-E1 and Xbox addon, there was a lot of interest in price, lack of region coding, and video quality. Region coding was of strong interest and many commented on the fact that HD-DVD did not have region protection and HD-DVD disks from the USA play fine in their players. They also commented on the fact that the HD-E1 and Xbox addon are not region free for standard DVD's.
The lack of region coding should not be underestimated. It seems to be a major consideration.
Overall my impression is HD-DVD has some interest. Blu-ray does not appear to be on the radar at all, based on standalones. The lower price and lack of region coding for HD-DVD will make it the obvious choice.