Update: Just came from the Wal-Mart store in Commerce Township, Mich. Not only was the Magnavox priced at $168, but the sales guys had never seen a Blu-ray player for $98. Could be this is a regional thing, or it could just be bad reporting (on my part and others'). Were you able to find this deal? In any case, my apologies if you went to Wal-Mart and came up empty.
The good news: You can finally buy a new, non-refurbished Blu-ray player for under $100--no rebates required.
The bad news: You have to go to Wal-Mart to get it. And not Walmart.com, either, for now this deal is in-store only. (I'd phone first; this story first broke on Friday, so I wouldn't be surprised if many stores were sold out.)
This isn't the first time a Blu-ray player has dipped below the magical $100 mark: Sears had a refurbished Magnavox for $99.99 last month, and shortly thereafter Meijer had a new Curtis Mathes model for the same price. Both are long gone.
The Wal-Mart player is the Magnavox NB530MGX, a no-frills, no-BD Live model. Of course, I suspect most buyers upgrade to Blu-ray for the better picture and sound, not for mostly fluff extras. I honestly couldn't care less about Profile 2.0 and all that.
However, I know from previous posts that many readers dislike Wal-Mart, so this begs the question: Is a $98 Blu-ray player enough to draw you into the store?
If not, why? Are Blu-ray movies still too expensive? Are you satisfied with your current DVD player? Or are you streaming/downloading most of your movies nowadays, and therefore don't need a player at all?
If you do happen to visit a Wal-Mart today, hit the comments and let your fellow Cheapskaters know which stores have or don't have the player in stock.