Folks who want to add high-definition playback to their PCs without maxing out their credit cards can already opt for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 HD DVD drive, which costs $169.99 on Newegg. Things are a little pricier in the Blu-ray camp, however, where the cheapest PC-bound Blu-ray drive is $239.99.
As gadget site Gearlog reports, the Blu-ray team has announced a new, sub-$200 Blu-ray drive that may very well sway some buyers away from the HD DVD proposition this holiday season. The new drive is made by Philips and Lite-On, and it’s launching with a price tag of $199. This isn’t a burner, mind you: the PLDS DH-4O1S drive can only play back Blu-ray, DVD, and CD media at maximum speeds of 4X, 12X (8X for rewritable DVDs), and 32X, respectively. Those looking for a Blu-ray burner to back up their Linux ISOs will need to pony up a little extra for a burner like Lite-On’s $460 LH-2B1S. Nonetheless, the PLDS DH-4O1S has the advantage of being an internal, 5.25" drive and of being bundled with a copy of Cyberlink’s PowerDVD software.