Just because they might make a player without all the "bells and whistles", doesn't mean it has to compete with the "low end el cheapo" players.
Lets look at customer service and support. Most companies now-a-days are fluctuating between a 2 and 6 out of 10... pretty much about a 4, which of course sucks. Oppo is about an 11 out of 10 (<-yes, it's that good). Then there's the warranty that ties in with the support. What is it now?... 2 years? How many products give you FULL warranty support for 2 years?... parts AND labor.
Then there is the quality and reliability of the product. This is Oppo we're talking about. They don't skimp on parts and build quality. So that part scores high on the scale too.
Now take that whole scenario and put it into a basic
2.0 profile Blu-ray player. No SACD/DVDA or any of the other stuff. Internal decoders is a confusing feature. I'd be fine with bitstream only, but there are too many people still without hdmi 1.3 receivers. So you'd probaly have to have that in there. Standard SD dvd playback with NO upscaling capability. (<-that's right, I said it...) 480p and 480i via hdmi and component.
Can they do it for $300?... I'll but it right now!... and set it atop my 983.
Full boat flagship player for $500 for those that want everything in ONE player. If they already have a 983, they can sell it and get the new flagship.
Oh, and BTW, does everyone else not realize what is going to happen to the resale value of the 983 when this supposed new flagship player comes out? Can you say $99 BuyItNow special?