Sony prices Blu-ray movies
By Steve Malone
Posted on 9 Feb 2006 at 10:43
Sony Pictures, the movie arm of the consumer electronics giant has set the bar for the price of Blu-ray DVDs in the US. As the primary mover behind the Blu-ray format, it is unsurprising that it is the first to announce a pricing structure for its Blu-ray films when they, and the players, become available later this year.
Sony says that movies from its back catalogue in the Blu-ray format will sell for $17.95. The company points out that this is around the same price as DVD movies when they first became available in 1997. New movie releases on Blu-ray Disc will sell for $23.45, which represents a fifteen per cent premium above the 1997 price for new-release DVDs.
'The premium is for a way better format and to remind retailers that at the time we launched DVD, VHS was selling for $55 wholesale in the first window,' Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment said in a statement. 'The higher pricing structure for new releases is meant to accommodate the sell-through and rental markets.'
Blu-ray, and for that matter the rival HD-DVD from Toshiba, only really makes sense if you have a high definition television to view it on. Given that, on current prices, an 'HD Ready' plasma television will set you back in the region of £2,000, the early adopters are probably not likely to baulk at a couple of extra pounds or dollars for a cinema quality release. However, with Toshiba's backers not announcing their prices yet, Sony is probably cautious about being undercut by rival HD-DVD releases.
The pricing structure for the UK has not yet been released although the pattern is likely to be similar.
Sony has also announced the US price of DVD-UMD bundles. The Universal Media Disc (UMD) is a DVD format created by Sony for use on the PlayStation Portable. From 28 March, US buyers will be able to get DVD-UMD combo packs of The Grudge, Resident Evil, Underworld, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Terminator. Each combo is priced at $28.95.
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