Today, Sony announced how much their new format Blu-Ray Discs would cost, and in doing so became the first major studio to wade into the price issue. It’s no surprise that Sony would be amongst the first to issue prices – they also helped develop the new format.
Blue-Ray is one of two formats coming out this year that will put Movies and TV in high definition on Disc format. When you bring them home to watch on an HDTV, you’ll get a much sharper image than a standard-definition DVD is able to. The price of new movies – on what Sony has nicknames BD – is being set at $23.45, and older movies from the Sony archives will sell for $17.95. That’s roughly a 20 percent markup when compared with DVDs.
Its not clear how well Blu Ray discs will do, or how insightful it may be to charge more for a disc that likely won’t work on DVD players, but Sony is no stranger to poor judgement when it comes to new formats. Super Audio CDs (SACDs) were also priced higher than CDs when they came out, and if you’ve never heard of SACDs, that should tell you all you need to know about Sony’s previous format moves.
While Sony’s prices may be set, retail stores are still free to put the retail price at whatever they really want. Both Reuters and CNet are reporting that you should see Blu-Ray discs in stores by this summer, which is currently expected to be at least four months after the competition HD DVD make their debut in March.