Target To Push Blu-ray Players This Fall
Target has announced a partnership with Sony to begin selling the entry-level Sony BDP-S300 Blu-ray disc player in stores this Fall and holiday season. The player, along with Blu-ray titles will be featured on aisle endcaps in Target stores nationwide. The player will be available for $499, along with Blu-ray titles from three Hollywood studios including Sony, Disney, and another studio to be announced later.
While Sony is paying a premium price for the endcap promotion, Sony suggests that it was Target that came to them with the idea. This announcement comes about a month after Blockbuster made its announcement that they would only continue to stock Blu-ray titles in their brick and mortar stores. Blockbuster continues to rent the competing HD DVD format via its online rental system.
Target currently sells HD DVD and Blu-ray titles in stores, and will continue to do so even while promoting the Blu-ray player. While Target has not been selling a stand-alone high definition player up until this point, it has been offering the Playstation 3, which is based on a Blu-ray player and can play Blu-ray movies. Target also sells the HD DVD add-on drive for the Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming system. Today, Microsoft Corp. has announced that it will be lowering the price of the HD DVD supplemental drive from $199 to $179, making this a viable option for many game enthusiasts.
The verdict is still out on the winner of the format war, however, this Fall and holiday season will play a critical role in the outcome. While Blu-ray is strongly promoting in Blockbuster and Target, HD DVD have their hands in Circuit City and Best Buy stores.
Both high definition camps are beginning to put much of their focus on the software title releases. While there are more titles available in Blu-ray, upcoming releases in both formats should provide an interesting face off. Blu-ray looks forward to releases of major blockbuster films, namely "Spider-Man 3" from Sony and "Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End" from Disney coming up this Fall on their format. Meanwhile HD DVD will be releasing "300" and the hit Sci-Fi TV series "Heroes: Season One" on the HD DVD format.
Source: Forbes.com, Washington Post