In a sign of cheaper hardware to come, Panasonic has announced that its first Blu-ray hardware without a built-in recorder will also be its lowest-price deck yet.

The DMP-BD60 goes on sale in Japan on 25 April for around ¥50,000 (£340). Although the current weak pound means that might not appear particularly cheap in translation, it is around 40 per cent cheaper in local terms than the next lowest Panasonic model.

Prices dropping

In other words, buyers in Europe and the US can expect to see something that beats existing BD machines by a similar margin some time before the autumn.

The BD60 is already being touted in Japan as a second Blu-ray player for the kitchen or bedroom, suggesting that the major players aren't going to give up on the medium just yet.