Studios Announce First Blu-Ray Assault

Posted Wed Jan 4, 2006 at 12:57 PM PST by
Gold DVD Discs After two years of hype and hope, four studios -- Sony/MGM, Paramount, Fox and Lion's Gate -- announced their initial lineup of Blu-Ray titles today at CES 2006.

Each studio plans to have 10-20 catalog titles available by early spring, with each offering a nominal mix of well-known catalog titles and recent blockbusters. Pricing has not yet been announced, although Sony honco Ben Feingold expected Blu-Ray discs to cost on average higher than their DVD counterparts, but "not significantly so." Day-and-date with DVD support was also sketchy, although Fox and Paramount indicated that such highly-anticipated blockbusters as 'Mission: Impossible 3' and 'Ice Age 2' would see simultaneous Blu-Ray and DVD release in 2006.

The initial slates leave us a little wanting -- 'Stealth,' 'Rambo' and 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow' is as good as it gets, folks. While these titles are skewed towards the young male action audience (which is a safe bet, given Blu-Ray's almost pre-sold base of Playstation 3 gamers), if high-def DVD is going to succeed with the mainstream, there has to be more variety. How about a few romantic comedies? Or even a couple genuine classics? And with only one TV DVD title announced ('Stargate Atlantis'!) the studios appear to be failing to capitalize on the biggest growth sector of the DVD market.

However, with remaining Blu-Ray supporting studios Warner, New Line, Disney and Universal expected to announce their Blu-Ray support by the end of CES 2006, we're still holding out hope that their offerings will rate a bit higher on the excitement meter.
Tags: Lionsgate, Paramount, Fox, MGM, Sony (all tags)