The Red invasion—which the Blu-ray Disc Association has delayed as long as possible—will bring a wave of cheap Blu to the United States, in the form of $99 Blu-ray players this Christmas.

The BDA had held out bringing Blu-ray to China, knowing that when the technology and licensing became available to manufacturers over there, cheap no-name players would flood the market over here, and undercut the price of players from companies like Sony, Pioneer and Samsung—who were already unhappy with just how fast prices fell, calling $399 for a player a "bargain" over a year ago. Consider this gem from Pioneer on why they didn't go HD DVD: "Why would Pioneer want to build one when Toshiba was selling them at $150?" That moment arrived this Christmas.

It's not altogether surprising that a year after crossing the $199 threshold, like they did this holiday season, they'd finish plummeting below a hundred bucks, which is what Mark Leathan, Marketing Director at Samsung predicts: That once the Chinese enter, "we will have a $99 Blu ray player."

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Is $99 the actual price for Blu-ray to go mass market, since the economy robbed $200 of its magical properties? Now if only they could do something about the disc prices. [Blu-ray via Ars]