Chinese media are reporting that Wal-Mart has ordered 2 million HD-DVD players from Taiwanese manufacturer Fuh Yuan, according to a poster on the AVS forums. Wal-Mart will apparently pay $50 per unit. Hence, the players may carry a retail price tag between $99 and $199.
This is a fraction of the cheapest Blu-ray players, retailing at $600 (in the form of either the PlayStation3 or Sony´s BDP-S300 to be released soon). If true, this move could easily decide the format war. And if Blu-ray fails, the PlayStation3 will lose its unique selling point.
As you might have expected, I am in contact with Wal-Mart and will post their reply as soon as possible.
EDIT Gizmodo reports of select retailers selling the Xbox360´s external HD-DVD drive for little more than $70. However, this might be a limited offer to clear stock.
EDIT Wal-Mart has denied the rumours, speaking to PhysOrg.
"The article… was full of inaccuracies and we had no participation in it," the spokesman said in an e-mail to PC Magazine . "Most of the facts, including the purchase, were untrue," she added. "Not sure how it originated."
When asked to comment specifically on a statement appearing on Fuh Yuan's site, which implies the retailer is at least interested in ordering the players, the spokesperson said she could not comment on or disclose Wal-Mart's internal business with suppliers and our orders. However, the supplier said that no deal was imminent.
The manufacturer, Fuh Yuan, also retracted from their earlier claims, according to the article:
"We are sorry to correct the statement that we have two million HD-DVD players order from Wal-Mart and manufactured by China Great Wall Group," Fuh Yuan said. "The actuality is that we had not received yet. We are asked to provide the schedule to Wal-Mart and cost to determine the quantity even more than two million, if the cost is good enough and timing is correct. So the capacity is under consideration. Any qualified manufactured base group will be welcome."
Sources: Wei2008, ET Today (Chinese), UDN (Chinese)
Thanks to: Some Guy, Pocooo, Digital Trends, Gadgettell, Gizmodo, SciFi