X-bit Labs reports cheap Blu-ray players will barely be available in Europe this holiday season:
Some Blu-ray disc (BD) players can be found at below $150 price-point in the U.S., but players are still expensive in Europe, especially on smaller markets. According to a market research firm, the situation is not going to change in the coming weeks, hence, this holiday shopping season will not become a breakthrough for the high-definition format on the mainstream European market.
“A shortage of cheaper Blu-ray players means that the sub-$300 machines that are already appearing on U.S. shelves are unlikely to materialize in Europe this Christmas. Combined with the recession, this means the format is unlikely to move much beyond the early adopter market this year,” said Screen Digest analyst Richard Cooper in a report.
Screen Digest has recently lowered its European Blu-ray sales forecasts for 2008 and beyond. Contrary to increasingly widespread suggestions, this is not due to ‘disappointing’ consumer take-up of the new format; instead, hardware supply constraints earlier in the year meant that the anticipated European BD promotional campaigns had to be reined in. Rather ironically, the unexpectedly rapid withdrawal of rival format HD DVD from the market in early 2008 caused a problem for Blu-ray by stimulating retailer demand for BD players when a severe shortage of an essential component meant that manufacturing could not keep up, according to the market research firm.