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Sony Corp. said on Monday it would like to dramatically boost its share on the market of Blu-ray disc (BD) supporting devices and would integrate Blu-ray optical drives into wider range of products to achieve the goal. A substantial expansion of BD presence on the market would catalyze price decreases, which is a good news for consumers.

Ryoji Chubachi, president of Sony Corp. and chief exexutive of Sony’s Global Electronics Business, said at a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, that Sony would offer Blu-ray optical drives in a “wide range of product lines and prices” in order to increase the global market share of its Blu-ray products from 20% at present to 50% by the end of 2008, reports DigiTimes web-site.

In fact, Sony is the primary source of Blu-ray supporting devices already, thanks to Sony PlayStation 3 video game console that features Blu-ray disc drive. However, since game systems are usually acquired to play games and not to watch movies, in order to popularize high-definition movies on blue laser optical media Sony needs to offer consumer-oriented video-centric devices. Mr. Chubachi noted that one of the products aimed at popularization of Blu-ray could be a high-def LCD TV with built-in BD recorder. Another way to make Blu-ray more popular would be to push the technology into the IT market.

The market share of Sony’s standalone BD players is not very high these days, primarily because companies like Samsung Electronics has offered their Blu-ray players at considerably lower prices than Sony’s. Nevertheless, being one of the two key backers of the format, Sony and Philips can theoretically offer truly affordable BD products. But the question here is whether Sony wants to make Blu-ray players truly affordable just now and reduce profit margins of itself as well as its partners among the founders of Blu-ray disc Association (BDA).

At present the most affordable standalone Blu-ray disc player from Samsung – BDP-1400 – costs from $300 - $350 in the USA. It is widely believed that video disc players become considerably more popular among consumers once their price is below $200.

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