By Chris Nicholls

NEW JERSEY: Toshiba America has announced it will slash prices of its HD DVD players and commence an extended advertising campaign for the format in the US.

As of January 13, the entry-model HD-A3 will be sell for US$149.99, the HD-A30, with 1080p output, US$199.99 and the high-end HD-A35 will now sell for US$299.99.

The move comes less than two weeks after the defection of Warner to rival format Blu-ray. However, the company claimed the reduced prices were “designed to meet the potential demand for HD DVD players in the US market”, citing a claimed 50 per cent market share of the next generation disc format in the US and 80 per cent in laptop disc share. However, it did not quote a source for the figures. 

Digital A/V Group vice president Yoshi Uchiyama said while the price was only one consideration for the early adopter, it was “a deal-breaker” for the mainstream consumer.

“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,” he said. “The value HD DVD provides to the consumer simply cannot be ignored.”

Toshiba planned to launch an extended advertising television, print and online campaign to help increase consumer awareness and drive sales. It will also work with its dealers and studio partners on joint marketing and promotional initiatives to promote the format.

A spokesperson for Toshiba Australia said they could not confirm whether such pricing would also occur in Australia.