Sony gives Blu-Ray movies a price tag

Sony Pictures yesterday revealed the pricing for its new Blu-Ray DVD format. It’s all-important stuff for Sony as it battles it out against the rival

Sony Pictures yesterday revealed the pricing for its new Blu-Ray DVD format. It’s all-important stuff for Sony as it battles it out against the rival HD DVD.

Around 18 home entertainment titles from Sony Pictures and MGM will be available for $17.95, wholesale. Sony said it will be offering up four titles per month to start with and then gradually working up to 10 per month by the end of this year.

You’ll have to dig a little deeper for new releases; they’ll be $23.45 wholesale. That’s almost 20 percent more than current DVD releases – but not much more than DVDs were when they first came out in the late ’90s.

The prices could have been a lot higher but since HD DVD has always been seen as a lower-cost option compared to Blu-Ray, Sony is most likely paranoid about being undercut. HD DVD prices haven’t actually been announced yet.

The fact the two warring factions couldn’t come to some sort of standards agreement means it looks likely one will lose out in a fashion reminiscent of VHS’s merciless whipping of poor old Betamax in the ’80s. Strange, then, that when we called Sony Pictures UK they asked, 'What's Blu-Ray? It's nothing to do with us.' Hmm.

Both formats will have hardware shipping to the States by the summer – a wonderful season for a modern-day Roman games, we think. The pricing has not been set for the UK yet, but we’ll keep you posted. It should leave you enough time to get saving for the requisite hi-def telly.