By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Toshiba Australia has followed its USA division by slashing prices across its entire HD DVD player range with the flagship model to drop by $700 to under half price at just RRP $599.

Toshiba’s entry-level HD-E1 will also drop from RRP $599 to RRP $299 while the mid-market HD-EP10 player with 1080p output will have its price halved, dropping from RRP $799 to RRP $399.

The price cuts come amid growing consensus that Blu-ray is now winning the format war to replace DVD in the high definition age.

Officially, Toshiba Australia today said that its price repositioning is to ‘meet the demand for HD DVD players in the Australia market’.

However, the company recently cut prices in the USA in response to Warner Bros’ defection to the rival Sony-backed Blu-ray Disc camp, handicapping HD DVD’s viability as a future platform.

Toshiba is still standing firm behind HD DVD and claims HD DVD has been gaining momentum during the last few quarters.

“While it’s still early days for HD on optical disc, we can confirm that HD DVD performed strongly in 2007,” said Toshiba Australia general manager, Mark Whittard.

“These new marketing investments, coupled with our aggressive new recommended retail pricing, will ensure HD DVD remains at the forefront of consumers’ minds in Australia.”

Toshiba has also announced it will run a bonus HD DVD movie title offer from 23 January.

The E1 player will come with one title inbox plus three titles via redemption; the EP10 with one title inbox plus five titles via redemption; and the XE1with one title inbox plus ten titles via redemption.