Despite numerous hardware setbacks and negative rumours, it looks as though Blu-Ray is nearly here. Or there, anyway.
The two Sony-owned big-gun US studios, Sony Pictures and MGM, have announced their intentions to put out titles from 23rd May – two months after rival hi-def disc format HD-DVD’s titles hit the shelves on March 28th.
This forthcoming launch is great news for the Blu-Ray format. The battle between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will doubtless get pretty ugly, and it’s imperative that both formats get hardware and software in the shops as soon as possible if they’re to enjoy any success.
HD-DVD isn’t taking any chances – Toshiba’s first HD-DVD players are already available in the US, and they really look the part. We know. We’ve seen them.
The first ultra-crisp Blu-Ray titles are… well, less than perfect. You’ll be able to ‘enjoy’ the following from 23rd May:
50 First Dates
A Knight’s Tale
Resident Evil Apocalyse
XXX (Vin Diesel in 1080i hi-def? Our dream did come true)
Actually, there are a few worth watching – House Of Flying Daggers, Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz and the visual cacophony that is The Fifth Element.
More titles will follow on June 13th. We’re particularly looking forward to Arnie’s veins in The Terminator.
So, what about those of us confined to dear old Blighty? Well, HD-DVD hardware and titles are already available for pre-order on Amazon.com, and international shipping isn’t that pricey. Otherwise a wait till Autumn (at the very earliest) is in store. And we know you HDTV-toting early adopters won’t be into that.