Wal-Mart end cap with HD DVD players ready for sale  (Source: "Jim" of eProductWars)
HD DVD cracks through Wal-Mart doors at below $200

If there is one thing that Wal-Mart is keenly aware of, it’s the notion of price sensitivity. No matter how good a product may be, the common consumer will not consider purchasing it unless it is at a price that is comparable to similar, even if inferior, products.

Such is the case with high-definition movies. Even if the common consumer knows that HD movies are noticeably superior to DVD, he or she will not likely invest in the technology until it is deemed affordable.

Although the price of the cheapest HD DVD player is still many times more than that of a budget DVD player, Wal-Mart has determined that a sub-$200 price is right for its customers.

As spotted by a user of the eProductWars website, Wal-Mart had on display the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player priced at $198. According the user post, Wal-Mart will formally begin selling the Toshiba HD DVD player on November 3.

Earlier this year, reports came of Wal-Mart’s plan to carry inexpensive HD movie players in time for the holidays. At the time of the report, it was speculated that Wal-Mart would sell the HD movie machine at just below $300, making the finding of a $198 brand-name HD DVD player a pleasant surprise.

A reason for the low price of the Toshiba HD DVD player is that the HD-A2 is an already outdated model. Toshiba announced in August its third generation HD DVD players, with the HD-A3 replacing the HD-A2. Nevertheless, at a year older, the HD-A2 gives up fairly little in features compared to the new model, making the jump to high-definition movies more affordable than ever.

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