Microsoft abandons HD DVD and slashes player price to $49 USD

Following hot on the heels of Microsoft Corp.’s recent announcement that it is abandoning production of the standalone HD DVD player that accompanies the Xbox 360 videogames console, rumours surrounding the player’s imminent price drop have now shifted into the realms of reality.

As the Redmond-based software giant looks to clear remaining units of its HD DVD player, money Web site Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has today confirmed its (now obsolete) HD player will be dropping in price by more than 50 percent.

Although online retailers such as Amazon.com are presently selling the Xbox 360 HD DVD player for $120 USD, Taipei-based Microsoft spokeswoman Grace Chou has revealed that: “From tomorrow, we will cut the price to $49,” which fleshes out recent speculation from a GameStop insider claiming as much.

The substantial reduction has likely arrived as such a drastic cut to stand out amid similarly broad hardware price reductions presently being applied by Toshiba to its existing range of HD DVD players.

Microsoft’s decision to abandon its HD DVD player has come about after core Hollywood studios and leading retailers withdrew their support for Toshiba’s HD DVD high definition platform, placing their allegiance with Sony’s Blu-ray alternative.

The resulting lack of backing left Toshiba with little choice but to fold its HD DVD business, which it did on February 19, leaving Sony’s format free to adopt the title of industry standard.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.