Blu-Ray to cost $30 a time for films

Written by Wil Harris

February 9, 2006 | 10:29

Tags: #discs #dvd #managed-copy #movie #movies #pricing #psp #reuters #umd

Companies: #blu-ray #sony #sony-pictures

Sony has come out with details on its pricing and bundling strategy for the launch of its Blu-Ray movies. Speaking to Reuters, the studio has said it is charging different prices for its back-catalogue and new-release titles.

Sony Pictures is obviously from the same group as Sony Electronics, co-developer of the Blu-Ray standard. Sony is throwing all its might behind the platform, including bundling a drive in with the PS3 games console.

Catalogue Blu-Ray discs will sell to retailers for around $17 - roughly the same price as DVDs did when they first came out. This will mean a street price to you and I of around $24. Brand new discs will sell to retailers for around $23, meaning a street price of more like $30 - a fair whack more than DVDs go for today. In the UK, you can bet fairly safely on $30 = £25.

Sony believes that the price premium is justified by the quality increase.

In advance of the release of the new format, Sony is trying a new method of selling films - bundles. It's going to bundle DVD and UMD discs together so that consumers can enjoy movies in their home and on the go, on a PSP. The bundles, which will initially be of older movies like 'The Grudge', 'Resident Evil' and 'Underworld', will go for around $29, designed to be a saving on buying the two separately.

The bundling move is a precursor to the Blu-Ray concept of Managed Copy, a Sony exec said. Managed Copy allows a legal way to move content from an optical disc to portable players and other machines in the home. The exact restrictions and requirements will likely be set on a film-to-film basis.

Blu-Ray discs are scheduled to hit in the summer - with no specific date. The UMD-DVD bundles will be available any day now.

Would you be interested in the bundles, or do you just Rip Your Own? Will Managed Copy be anything other than a restrictive gimmick? Are the films going to be overpriced?Let us know your thoughts over in the forum.
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