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In Wake of Warner Defection, Studios Roll Out HD DVD Product

50°
362w ago - Down but not out, the beleaguered HD DVD format suddenly has some product in the pipeline, after studio announcements that had been slotted for the Consumer Electronics Show were yanked at the last minute due to the pre-show defection of Warner Home Video to the Blu-ray Disc camp.

One of the most high-profile HD DVD releases, ironically, will be from Warner, which won't officially abandon the Toshiba-developed format until the end of May. The studio Wednesday announced it will release a two-disc special edition of the action hit Twister on all three home entertainment software formats, with the DVD and Blu-Ray Disc coming May 6 and the HD DVD edition following May 27.

Orders are due April 1 for the standard DVD and Blu-ray Disc and April 22 for the HD DVD. Special features include a commentary, an HBO First Look Special on the making of the film, and a 2003 History Channel special on tornadoes.

Paramount Home Entertainment, which after May will be the only major studio besides longtime supporter Universal Studios Home Entertainment to release titles on the HD DVD format, is expected to announce a full slate of HD DVD titles for the first quarter today (Thursday, Jan. 17) – a slate it was to unveil at CES.

Already in stores is Zodiac, which quietly shipped...
 

Blu-ray Dominates Disc Sales Chart Post-Warner Announcement

50°
362w ago - The Blu-ray camp took a decisive lead in disc sales for the week ending January 13th, the first full week following Warner's announcement that it would abandon its HD DVD support.

Though Blu-ray has outsold HD DVD in overall disc sales by a factor of nearly 2:1 since the start of 2007, last week saw the largest gulf between the two rival formats yet, with Blu-ray commanding an 85% share of all high-def discs sold.

Home Media Magazine is reporting that of the top ten high-def discs sold on either format, not a single HD DVD disc made the list, with the top-selling HD DVD disc ('The Kingdom') moving only one tenth as many units as the best selling Blu-ray title, '3:10 to Yuma.'

While it's too soon to tell whether Warner's announcement had a direct effect on Blu-ray's stronger-than-ever disc sales lead, HD DVD had been holding steady with a relatively strong 39% share of high-def disc sales in the last weeks of the 2007 holiday shopping season.
 

Manufacturer attempts to minimize Warner Bros damage by halving some prices

50°
363w ago - Toshiba has reacted strongly to last week's news that Warner Bros had defected to Sony's Blu-ray camp by cutting prices on its HD DVD players in the US by up to half.

According to a report on CNN Money the suggested retail price of its three standalone players will fall by as much as USD 200 - the HD-A3 falls from around USD 300 to USD 150, the HD-A30 drops from USD 400 to USD 200 while the HD-A35 goes from USD 500 to just USD 300.

The company already marketed one of HD DVD's key advantages as being cheaper than Blu-ray, and Toshiba is taking drastic action to keep its format in the next-generation DVD race.

Following Warner's decision Blu-ray now boasts five key players on its side of the divide, while Paramount and Universal support HD DVD.

Toshiba America's group vice president of digital audio and video explained: "While price is one of the consideration elements for the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer."

The company also plans a lengthy advertising campaign to promote HD DVD on TV, print and online.
 

The 5 Worst Games of 2007

200°
363w ago - As much as we love applauding the victors, who doesn't get that special thrill from the schadenfreude of watching a complete disaster? These games are just loaded with extra fail. Of course, it would have been more fun if we didn't have to play them.

#5 Hour of Victory - Proof that you can win the battle and still lose the war. Wait a sec, this game doesn't even win the battle. With brain-dead soldiers, and three "completely different" ways to play that are all the same, any hours spent here are on the losing side.

#4 Godzilla Unleashed Double Smash - What happens when you take a giant city-stomping monster and shrink him down to the DS? This side scroller is what happens - and it's not pretty: Lousy graphics, no rational way to save, and a slow, plodding monster punching boats. Root for Mothra instead.

#3 The Golden Compass - It always seems that basing your game on a movie is a recipe for disaster. Nobody can ever seem to get it right, and even with high adventure, a shapeshifting demon, and an armored bear, The Golden Compass completely fails to be fun. With dozens of gameplay mechanics, none of which work right, this compass points straight to the bottom. However, it could be worse...

#2 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am - ... You could...
 

Blu-ray vs. HD DVD: What's Next?

50°
363w ago - This should be the final year for the high-def format war.. So, what's next?

After Warner Bros.' endorsement of Blu-ray shortly before the Consumer Electronics Show, many analysts have said Blu-ray will be the ultimate winner in its high-def disc format war against HD DVD.

But how much longer will the war go on? And, what will happen before it comes to an end -- assuming that it does?

Here's my prediction for what's likely to transpire in the high-def format war in 2008:

1.The HD DVD Surge
Toshiba said today that it will slash prices on HD DVD players and expand its marketing campaign. Clearly, the format's leading supporter is trying to show the studios and other industry players that it's still a competitive battle.

However, in part because of the negative press from CES (thanks to Warner Bros), relatively few consumers will bite on the lower prices due to fears that they will purchase a soon-to-be obsolete format.

2. Toshiba & Sony Will Begin Peace Talks
While awaiting sales results from the first quarter, Toshiba and Sony (Blu-ray's leading supporter) will begin informal negotiations for establishing a single format. With five major studios behind it (compared to HD DVD's two), Sony has the leverage here, but it wants to bring this battle...
 
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