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It’s Official: Toshiba Cuts HD DVD Pricing

New York – Toshiba made official its long-rumored HD DVD player price cuts, dropping the expected retail price by $100 each for the entry HD-A2 (to $399) and the step up HD-A20 (to $499), and by $200 on the top-of-the-line HD-XA2 (to $799).

The price moves, which go into effect April 1, were published in a flyer and a catalog distributed to attendees at a store celebration event for local retailer Datavision March 15.

Jodi Sally, Toshiba A/V products marketing VP, confirmed the prices to TWICE this morning.

Datavision is adding to the new prices a $50 instant rebate. In addition, purchasers of any of the players qualify for five free HD DVD titles offered through a separate Toshiba promotion.

Sally denied speculation that Toshiba had made the price step because Sony had recently announced plans to sell a $599 Blu-ray Disc player later this year, and Samsung’s Blu-ray model has been aggressively price promoted on the Internet.

“Price moves like this are planned pretty far in advance,” she said. “It has always been our strategy to really plan strategic pricing and promotions long-term with this category.”

The instant rebates advertised by Datavision are offered by the retailer and not backed by Toshiba, she said.

Sales of HD DVD players have been doing well this year, Sally said.

“As of last week, was showing the HD-A2 and the HD-XA2 players in the No. 5 and No. 6 spots of all DVD players,” she said.

As for future incentives, Sally hinted that some major HD DVD title releases will be coming soon, but declined to elaborate until the studios make official announcements.