Amazon Drops Price of HD DVD Player to $99, Upconvert DVD w/ Free Movies?

HD DVDFor anyone keeping score since Blu-ray won the next generation movie battle, HD DVD players are now $99. And that’s with 7 movies included. Considering these players also work well as upconvert DVD players (DVD players that convert and play regular DVDs at a slightly higher picture quality), in some ways, it’s actually the best deal on the market if you’re looking for a good DVD player.

If you value the 7 movies included (incidentally, most regular DVD players don’t come with free movies like this) at the discounted price of $10 per movie, then you’re effectively getting a nice DVD player for about $30. Retailer Play.com is using similar logic, as it relabeled all its HD DVD players for sale as upconvert DVD players (but Play’s deal isn’t nearly as good as Amazon’s).

And remember that Blu-ray players are well into the $300 price range. The best deal available is really the Playstation 3 for around $400; you may as well get a gaming console if you’re already willing to spend over $300 for the next generation of movies. I agree with Saul Hansell who writes for the NYTimes blog BITS:

“I suspect Sony’s Blu-ray will have a hard time for a few years, but not because of downloading… The competition for Blu-ray players is the latest generation of DVD players that can generate a high-definition picture from a standard-definition disc.”

*Update* There’s a rumor floating around that the Xbox 360 HD DVD player will be dropping to $49. It currently includes 6 movies with purchase (until the end of February 2008).