This Ars Technica article says a Chinese Blu-ray player manufacturer is pushing to sell a Blu-ray player for $99 soon, which to me implies this Christmas season.
I have said that I’ll buy a good Blu-ray player as soon as it’s under $100 before taxes, and good is the key word in the sentence. I don’t know exactly how I’ll determine if the player passes muster, but most likely I’ll have to read several reviews of the model, and it’ll have to be from a reliable brand. So “as soon as it’s under $100” is dependent on my determination that it’s “good” to begin with…
Anyway, Ars Technica is skeptical that this cheapness will bring a Blu-ray player to every living room the way the $100 price tag brought DVD players to every living room:
The bigger question is whether hitting a $99 price tag will do for Blu-ray what it did for DVD. Our Magic 8-Ball says “outlook not so good,” and here’s why. First and foremost, we’re in a recession. While we may begin to pull out of it later this year, consumers are loath to spend money on luxury items, which leads us to the second reason. Even though Blu-ray’s picture quality is stunning (watch Wall•E on a large 1080p HDTV and you’ll agree), upscaled DVDs also look good on HDTVs—good enough for a lot of people, anyway. Lastly, Blu-ray is being challenged by HD downloads—if you want HD goodness, you’ve got plenty of alternatives to buying a Blu-ray player: your Xbox 360, Amazon, Apple TV, and cable/satellite TV provider, to name a few.
Getting the price of Blu-ray players down to $99—even if they’re not Blu-ray 2.0 compliant—will definitely give sales a boost. But it’s not going to set sales on fire as it did for DVD players back in the day.