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Rumor: PS3 Price Drop Imminent, Blu-ray-Free PS3 in the Works

750°
294w ago - A Wall Street analyst reports that a price reduction for the PlayStation 3 will happen "in the next couple days."

Mike Hickey with investment-banking firm Janco Partners told investors on Wednesday that he expects Sony will drop the price of the console to respond to sluggish hardware sales. To quote:

"Recent channel checks indicate increased speculation for a PS3 price cut announcement from Sony in the next couple of days," Hickey wrote.

Currently the PS3 is the most expensive of the three "next-gen" consoles on the market. The Playstation 3 with an 80 GB hard drive runs $399, while the 160 GB model is priced at $499. By comparison, the most expensive Xbox 360, which includes a 120 GB hard drive, retails at $399 and the economically priced Wii, when it can be found on shelves, sells for $249.

While many Playstation fans argue that the PS3 more than makes up the price difference with its Blu-ray drive, with the economy as it is, consumers are looking harder than ever at the PS3's spendy price tag.

In fact, Hickey believes the PS3's price would have to drop by at least $100 to make a big difference in Sony's sales numbers.

"We think the company needs to reduce the current price by USD 100 to effectively restart unit velocity at retail. We believe...
 

Futuresource: Blu-ray Sales to Exceed 100 Million Discs in 2009

50°
295w ago - According to Futuresource Consulting, it appears Blu-ray may be ready to hit the mainstream. The increasing number of HDTV owners, coupled with lower prices on Blu-ray players, should fuel interest in the HD movie format.

To quote: "In the USA, Blu-ray has moved from early adopter phase through to early majority, with the format gaining real traction in the marketplace," said Mai Hoang, senior market analyst at Futuresource.

According to Hoang, Blu-ray sales in America reached 24 million units in 2008. The analyst predicts the American market will eat 80 million discs this year. The rest will be represented by Japan, the UK and the rest of Europe.

Jim Bottoms, managing director at Futuresource, thinks Blu-ray adoption will finally get majority share of home video sales in just a few more years. "By 2012, around 50 per cent of US and 35 per cent of Western European video disc retail sale volumes will be Blu-ray."
 

Hybrid Blu-ray Movie And Game Discs Planned for the PS3

350°
297w ago - Sony's John Koller has confirmed that hybrid Blu-ray discs that contain both a PS3 game and movie are on the cards.

Koller noted there are a lot of developers who say they have a game based on a particular movie and would love to fit them together.

Apparently, we should see these hybrid discs coming out this year... to quote:

The details of the hybrid PS3 game/movie product are still being finalized, but the idea is that a PS3 videogame disc would also provide access to an entire feature film.

Plus, consumers would be able to transfer the film for view on the PlayStation Portable, similar to the way Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's digital copies can be transferred to the PSP.

"We are actively pushing, and the way that we see the future is that the movie and the game are placed on the same disc," said John Koller, director of hardware marketing for the PS3.

"There are a lot of developers who say, we have this game based on a movie, wouldn't it be great to marry these concepts? We will definitely see this stuff this year."
 

Recession-busting $150 Blu-ray Players Coming This Year

200°
298w ago - As Blu-ray market penetration increases, the entry price of Blu-ray Disc players will continue to decrease.

China's Economic Daily News [Register or Login to view links] that white-box vendors will offer Blu-ray players at approximately a $150 USD price point this year.

Lite-On IT, a prominent Taiwanese disc drive manufacturer, plans to offer a half-height Blu-ray drive for laptops for around $150 USD, according to the newspaper.

White-box vendors are obscure electronics manufacturers, so don't expect to see Sony or Samsung Blu-ray players reach that price point just yet.
 

Report: Packaged Video Games Outsell DVD and Blu-ray in 2008

50°
300w ago - Last year, retail video games outsold DVD and Blu-ray discs worldwide for the first time, according to a 2008 [Register or Login to view links] and 2009 forecast by Media Control GfK International.

Video game sales were up to 53 percent of the media market in 2008, thanks in no small part to Nintendo's Wii, which drove software sales up by 20 percent from 2007. GfK predicts that video games will take 59 percent of the market by the end of 2009.

In Italy and Spain, video games already reign in the home entertainment war, constituting for 67 percent of the market.

Meanwhile, DVD sales dropped by 4 percent, bringing overall DVD and Blu-ray sales down 6 percent from the previous year. The U.S. market played a major roll, with sales for these movie formats dropping by 8 percent.

All told, video game sales reached $32 billion and movie sales came out to $29 billion for DVD and Blu-ray. It should be noted that rentals are not included in the report.

GfK's findings weren't without precedent. Earlier this year, Verdict research predicted video game sales would be up 42 percent in the UK, and would surpass music, DVD, and Blu Ray disc sales.

Although they were almost correct, Steve Redmond of the Entertainment Retailer's...
 
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