Wednesday, March 19, 2008

They're Giving Me Fifty Bucks

I'll take it. Best Buy, not to be out-done by Circuit City, has just announced that they will be sending out $50 gift cards to anyone who bought an HD DVD player from them before Toshiba's announcement that killed the format and ended the war with Blu-ray on February 23rd, 2008. Additionally, they are going to offer trade-in value to those who are willing to trade in their players for spending power. This move, I take it, is aimed at mobilizing the other half of the early-adopter population, or rather, mobilizing their wallets in order to make them willing to fork over the cash needed to buy in to Blu-ray. Actually, I would argue that it's more than half of the movie format "early adopter" population, as the vast majority of Blu-ray adopters weren't primarily after High-Def movies, but games. I don't plan on exchanging my HD DVD player, as I still have 21 HD DVD movies (and 5 more on the way since I bought the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on. I bought it at Circuit City for use as a computer drive, with full knowledge of Toshiba's announcement.) I might sell 1 or 2 of my current HD DVD movies, as well as some of the ones that come from the 5-free mail-in offer, but I wish to retain the remainder of the movies, as well as the ability to play them in High-Definition (6 of them are combo discs). So I'm keeping my player. I do eventually plan on buying a Blu-ray player, but not until I can get one for under $200. I don't expect that that time will come until at least this year's Christmas shopping season (i.e., Black Friday), but given that Blu-ray player prices have actually gone up since the end of the format war, I'm not holding my breath. The PS3 is still the most attractive option as far as Blu-ray players go, but that has mostly to do with the other players' failure to come down in price, and therefore it's more of a victory by default. In order to make up for their inability to play games and act as a media center (not to mention their lack of Profile 2.0 compliance), other players have to beat the PS3 price by at least $100 or customers (or at least, the ones who think like me) won't bite.