The Format wars may end in an un expected way, when WalMart release its HD-DVD player for less than half the cheapest Blu-Ray player available.
News are partially obfuscated by transaltion issues, but reports suggest that WalMart has contracted Taiwan based manufacturer Fuh Yuan, in cooperation with TDK to produce the blue laser drives for 2-million HD-DVD players. Broadcom will reportedly supply the system-on-a-chip decoder, and China Great Wall will handle final assembly. The deal represents around $100,000,000, and it is reported that a new manufacturing plant has already been opened to fulfill the order.
The new players are expected to arrive to retail in late 2007 and would be priced between $199 to $299. The cheapest HD-DVD player currently available is Toshiba's HD-A20, priced at $399, While no Blu-Ray players are currently available for less than $599.
WalMart adopts a high-volume, low-margin business plan of market saturation, which is exactly the approach required to drive one format or the other to preeminence.