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HD DVD players hit $99 at Wal-Mart, Best Buy

Wal-Mart is selling the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player for $99 this Friday, as part of its "Secret In-Store Specials" promotion.


Earlier this week it was big news that HD DVD broke the $200 price barrier. Well, in the same week it looks like HD DVD has broken the $100 price barrier as well. As previously reported, Wal-Mart is running a "Secret In-Store Specials" sale this Friday and one of the heavily discounted items is the Toshiba HD-A2 selling for $98.87. Of course, this isn't a true price drop, as the sale is only good as long quantities last and the Toshiba HD-A2 won't be available at all Wal-Mart locations. On the other hand, it is representative of HD DVD's significant advantage in hardware pricing -- the least expensive Blu-ray player is the $400 PlayStation 3, which also hits stores tomorrow.

The $99 price tag is sweet, but the deal is even better than that. Toshiba continues to give away five free movies to anyone that buys an HD DVD player--all you need to do is fill out this form (PDF link) and mail it in. If you're not thrilled about Toshiba's selection of free movies (we're not either), Wal-Mart is also running on a sale on HD DVD movies tomorrow, priced at $14.96 each. That's a pretty significant discount, as most of the HD DVDs we saw at Amazon were priced from $20 to $30.

Not to be outdone, it also looks as if Best Buy is selling the Toshiba HD-A2 for $99 as well. You can't order from Best Buy online, but it seems like if you get to your local Best Buy before they run out of stock, you can nab an HD-A2 for $99.

It remains to be seen whether these rock-bottom prices are the result of retailers blowing out extra inventory or a sign of continually falling prices for HD DVD. Technically, the HD-A2 has already been replaced by the new Toshiba HD-A3 which still costs $250 at Best Buy (and isn't sold at Wal-Mart). Either way, this is a great deal for high-def movie fans who can get their hands on one of these $99 players.