Following US price cuts earlier this week, Toshiba has confirmed price drops for its UK line-up of HD DVD players.

Effective as of today, the entry-level Toshiba HD-EP30 will cost "below £150" and the higher-end HD-EP35 will be "below £250" .

Retailers have responded swiftly: we've already seen the players on sale for £149 and £219 respectively.

“While price is just one of many purchasing considerations for the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer,” said Masaaki Kimura, Vice President Digital A/V Group, Toshiba UK.

“Sales this Christmas have demonstrated, once again, that consumer awareness of HD DVD has been elevated thanks to its close association with DVD and recent successful promotions. Pricing is – without doubt – the most critical determinant in a consumer’s decision to purchase next generation high definition DVD technology. The value HD DVD brings to the consumer simply cannot be ignored.”

More after the break

The announcement didn't mention price-cuts to Toshiba's older HD DVD players, including its flagship HD-EX1 – but this is already available for at least £200 less than its original £650 launch cost.

The cuts follow the format's major setback in its 'war' with competing HD format, Blu-ray, due to Hollywood giant Warner announcing it'll stop producing HD DVD discs in May 2008.

How much impact Toshiba's pricing move will have remains to be seen - HD DVD has been the cheaper HD option for some time now, and previous price cuts and promotions (including the ongoing free-disc giveaway) haven't had the market-turning effect the format's supporters would have hoped for.

As ever, we'll keep you updated with all the news and opinions on the HD disc battle as it happens....

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