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PS3’s BD Drive to Cost $400?

PS3In-Stat claims that BD and HD DVD drives cost about $400, according to ars technica.

The report starts off by analyzing a bill of materials for “blue laser players” and came up with a round figure of about US$400. This includes not only the hardware, but royalty licenses for the various codecs included in the players.

Maybe, maybe not. I’m no expert, so I can’t really refute this or not. Though four hundred bucks sounds a little extreme for what is basically a glorified DVD drive. But who am I to say?

Here’s a part of the next paragraph, however:

Blu-ray players are thought to cost more to manufacture than HD DVD ones, and this appears to be borne out by the current retail price of the cheapest HD DVD player (the Toshiba HD-A1 at US$499) compared to the least expensive Blu-ray device (Samsung’s BD-P1000 at US$999).

BD drives probably are more expensive than HD DVD drives. The discs use a slightly more advanced structure. But that has nothing to do with the price of these first-gen players to hit the market. Manufacturers always price first-gen players extremely high to help recoup the costs of development, because early adopters will typically pay those prices. Samsung ($1000), Sony ($1000), and Pioneer ($1800) are all following the normal procedures for introducing a new platform. It’s Toshiba that’s out of whack at $800 and $500 for their players. Toshiba, my guess, is trying to price their players cheaply to make BD look like the expensive option, trying to give it that image permanently. Let’s not kid ourselves here. My first DVD player from Toshiba cost me over $800, and it was a piece of crap compared to what $100 players can do today.

Not only that, but early adopters prefer the more expensive players. I bet you that Toshiba’s pricier player with sell better. Back in the day, Sony’s first player was an expensive one. Their second was more affordable, and it didn’t sell nearly as well as the other one.

So the price of the first-gen blue-laser disc players is set by the marketing departments, and really doesn’t have a lot to do with component prices.

ars technica – HD DVD and Blu-ray drives cost over US$400 to build