Sure, it's no surprise to see bleeding-edge tech plummet in price soon after the initial craze is over, but Sony NEC Optiarc is estimating that Blu-ray disc drive prices will "drop 50 percent from current levels amid aggressive development" by other manufacturers. Shuji Minami -- the product business group's general manager -- is suggesting that increased production by alternative manufacturers will open up the currently tight supply line. We've heard Sony blaming the overwhelming shortage of Blu-ray components for its Playstation 3 supply quandaries, and we've assumed the inclusion of such a drive somewhat justifies (or not) the staggeringly high pricetag, but we can't say we're sharoosed that prices will be dramatically lower in just over 12 months. Regardless, the firm is touting Window's forthcoming Vista operating system as encouragement for more producers to hop on the (nearly empty) bandwagon, so if you're cool with holding out on (questionably beneficial) 1080p flicks for another year or so, you'll (unsurprisingly) find yourself a lot richer for it. But for you European blokes who'll be suffering the same launch day madness that we're still surviving next year, we highly doubt Sony will cut you any slack, especially considering how much dough they're already losing.

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Blu-ray disc drive prices to be halved by 2008?