Blu-ray in the News: High Prices & No Microsoft Love

Blu-raySince Blu-ray became the next generation movie disc format of choice, the consumer supposedly has been better off. But Tom’s Hardware claims that prices of Blu-ray players are higher than ever and that now, in fact, is the worst time to buy.

Interesting. I’ve been tracking Blu-ray vs. HD DVD player pricing for the past year via Amazon and hadn’t noticed any recent increases. As of today, the Blu-ray players on Amazon are priced in the same range they’ve always been: the mid to high $300’s. Right now the cheapest Blu-ray player on Amazon is this Samsung for $357. I’ve seen it $20 cheaper, but I’ve also seen it more expensive.

The truth is, of course, that until Blu-ray players fall well below $300 (which I haven’t seen on Amazon), there’s no point in buying anything but the Sony Playstation 3. It’s $400 and has Blu-ray included. And HD DVD players are now the same price as upconvert DVD players. Amazon has this HD DVD player for $79 (via the TigerDirect link on the right).

Meanwhile, Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, today seemed to squash any rumors of Microsoft working on a Blu-ray add-on for the Xbox 360:

“Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience… We’re the only console offering digital distribution of entertainment content.”

So there you have it. Since Blu-ray won the next gen movie disc war: Blu-ray prices aren’t coming down, HD DVD players are the new upconvert DVD, and digital distribution seems to be where Microsoft is headed. More coverage and opinions via Techmeme.