Pioneer will be shipping its new line of plasma TVs in June, July and September of this year.
June: The Pioneer-branded XGA and WXGA sets.
Pioneer 42" XGA PDP-4280HD: $2,700
Pioneer 50" WXGA PDP-5080HD: $3,500
July: The Elite-branded XGA and WXGA sets.
Elite 42" XGA PRO-950HD: $3,200
Elite 50" WXGA PRO-1150HD: $4,500
September: All 1080p sets.
Pioneer 50" PDP-5010FD: $5,000
Pioneer 60" PDP-6010FD: $6,500
Elite 50" PRO-110FD: $6,000
Elite 60" PRO-150FD: $7,500
According to technology blog Gizmodo.com, Russ Johnston, Pioneer vice president of marketing and product planning, says that the company has spent the last two years building its plasma technology from scratch. With serious gamers in mind, the company says that its new plasma TVs focused on deeper black levels for richer colors and sharper details.
In other plasma news, according to NPD, a provider of consumer and retail information in Port Washington, N.Y., plasma revenues dropped year-over-year for the first time ever. Revenue dropped by 16 percent, mostly due to price declines. Average prices were down by more than 35 percent compared to February 2006 (NPD's report was based on its retail tracking service, which compared February 2007 prices and sales to February 2006).
Unit sales increased by 30 percent during that period, but overall revenue was just $181 million compared to $216 million in February 2006.
"Unlike LCD TVs, plasma TVs have not been able to offset lower average prices by reaching high volumes in their larger screen sizes," says Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for The NPD Group. "While these lower prices have allowed plasma manufacturers to reach out to a broader consumer base with a differentiated display technology, it's still not enough to keep revenue on the rise."