Even before the dust has settled on the Las Vegas CES, Toshiba has responded to Warner’s plan to choke its HD DVD system of content by slashing prices on players to US dealers. The HD-A3, which was subject to heavy discounting in last year’s Black Friday sales, has now been repriced at 149 dollars, with the HD-A30 priced at 200 dollars. The high-end HD-A35 sells 300 dollars; the players come with 10 free discs. “While price is one of the consideration elements for the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer,” says Yoshi Uchiyama, Group Vice President of Toshiba’s Digital AV Group. “Consumer sales this holiday season have proven that the consumer awareness of the HD DVD format has been elevated and pricing is the most critical determinant in consumer’s purchase decision of the next generation HD DVD technology. The value HD DVD provides to the consumer simply cannot be ignored.”
In a bullish statement, Toshiba said that it is planning a series of “major initiatives, including joint advertising campaigns with studios and extended pricing strategies will begin in mid-January and are designed to spotlight the superior benefits of HD DVD as well as the benefits HD DVD brings to a consumer’s current DVD library by upconverting standard DVDs via the HDMI.”
The Corporation says that with a 50 per cent market share in 2007 and an 80 per cent market share of all next generation DVD equipped notebooks for Q4 2007, HD DVD is proven to be the format of choice for consumers.
Toshiba is expected to make a formal strategy announcement for the format once it has consulted with the DVD Forum and content partners.