This week, Microsoft slashed the price for the Xbox 360 HD DVD disc player from $179 to $129, using the company's Gamerscore and Major Nelson blogs to market the $50 price cut in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There are plans to spread the news with Xbox 360 Dashboard banner ads, e-mail newsletters in late February, and limited retail store advertisements.
A marketer's worst nightmare remains finding reasons for consumers to buy products being phased out or ones that will become obsolete, especially for a technology brand. New product cycles are about every six months.
Some view the price cut as a desperate move by Microsoft to revive the HD-DVD brand, following decisions by movie studios, producers and retail stores to side with rival Blu-ray format.
Industry experts wouldn't speculate on when Microsoft might discontinue manufacturing HD DVD disc players as an accessory for the Xbox 360, but did weigh in with marketing advice when products appear doomed to failure.