The PS3 isn’t the best Blu-ray player on the market, despite some claims to the contrary. Even at a lower price than the other players it’s a hard argument to make with the stand alone players offering better playback technology. Still, it’s the most cost efficient choice because you do get a game machine with your player. Back in February Sony announced plans for their newest player to come in at the same price as the PS3, thus undercutting the perceived value of the game machine as it goes through growing pains. The company announced Monday that their previous announcement was wrong, and the new BDP-S300 Blu-ray player is going to be $100 cheaper than we thought.

Chris Fawcett, VP of Sony Electronics’ home products division, said during a press conference this morning that the reason for the price drop is because production costs have decreased and there is a growing demand for Blu-ray. According to the Associated Press the BDP-S300 will be priced at $499, which is half the cost of Sony’s first player, launched a mere six months ago. Month by month Blu-ray is looking more enticing than competitor HD-DVD. HD-DVD players currently sell for below $300, but if the trend continues Blu-ray will catch up by holiday season when the first large scale war will be waged.

The BDP-S300 is essentially the same machine as the BDP-S1, it’s just slimmed down a bit. The buttons have been reworked as well, but you’re getting the sexier version. Oh, and it’s significantly cheaper. The new player is on its way to stores now. Sony also announced a firmware update to the BDP-S1 Blu-ray player allowing it decode Dolby Digital Plus & Dolby True HD audio codecs. That’ll make it’s way out sometime next week.

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