Whether it is lower production costs or a new need to compete seriously with Toshiba's HD DVD camp, Sony has sliced $100 off of its original pricing for the BDP-S300 Blu-ray player, to a list price of $499. That's still high given the fact that a) the PS3 lists for just $100 more and offers Blu-ray playback and a lot of extra functionality and b) Toshiba's $399 HD-A2 HD DVD player is easy to find for under $300.

Is this enough of a price break, keeping with Sony's traditional "brand premium"? Or will Sony continue to pursue Toshiba down below the hard deck, where stakes are high and profit margins are low? Will Sony ride into the danger zone, so to speak? We'll certainly know by Christmas.

Sony cuts price on new Blu-ray player [AP]