Sony CEO: $200 Blu-ray Players ComingS

Click to viewEverybody clamoring for a cheap Blu-ray player now that the format war is over might wanna bide their time with a sweet DVD upconverter—the $200-player Blu-ray cavalry is at least a year away, according to Sony Electronics CEO Stan Glasgow, who we talked to today in New York. "I don't think $200 is going to happen this year. Next year $200 could happen. We'll be at a $300 rate this year. $299 will happen this year."

No cheap Chinese-made players will be flooding the market to push it down either, not until the BDA decides to license the tech to them, and Glasgow implied it's gonna be a while before that happens. Anyone else wants a license? Sure. But not them, in part it was indicated, because of piracy concerns. Not that the price matters too much right now, since Sony is "struggling to keep up with the demand."

The mighty morphin' PS3 SKU—from 60GB to 40GB, backward-compatible or not—isn't going to stop shape-shifting. When asked "Will there also be another PlayStation with Blu-ray built-in? Glasgow answered that "there's going to be continual evolvement in the PlayStation line" before talking about feature upgrades with software.

Other points that came up at the roundtable:

• Sony dropped Memory Stick slots from its TVs, even ones that do photos and music playback. Not sure what that means for the underdog format.

• When people are asked what brand they think of when it comes to HD, Sony "is far and away the leader"—close to 36 percent, compared with 10 percent for the runner-up.

• Around 50 percent of their LCD HDTVs sold last year were 1080p—the shift to 1080p is happening now and Blu-ray will help that.

• Sony is not sweating the recession.

• The company is "working very hard" on an answer to Apple TV, though it all seems to center around a Blu-ray player one way or another, and doesn't necessarily rely on the ill-fated Bravia Internet Video Link. Sony is "working on many other avenues to deliver downloaded content," like the PlayStation Network, which will be "spread that over the next year or so to many other products of Sony."