The inclusion of several classic Steven Spielberg titles in an HD DVD presentation given by Universal Studios Japan got tongues wagging online Friday.
A screenshot from the presentation, which includes mention of 'Jaws,' 'E.T.' and 'Jurassic Park' among other high-profile Universal titles began appearing online shortly after it was delivered at the CEATAC conference this week in Japan.
Although the context of the slide in question was unclear, the mere image of Spielberg tiles on a page wrapped by the "Look and Sound of Perfect" graphics common to all of Universal's HD DVD discs was enough to whip fans into a near-frenzy on our own forums and elsewhere online.
As longtime readers of this site know, Spielberg has had a rocky relationship with the HD DVD format in the past.
Back in February, the official HD DVD Promotions Group (of which Universal is a member) issued a public apology to the director after listing several of his titles in a "Coming Soon" list that was apparently never approved by the director. Then, August's stunner of a press release announcing Paramount/DreamWorks jump to HD DVD exclusivity included a conspicuous one line carve-out, stating that Spielberg's DreamWorks films would be exempt from the terms of the HD DVD exclusivity agreement.
Spielberg himself has gone on record (via his publicist) as being a "big supporter of Blu-ray," and the only Spielberg-directed title currently set for next-gen release is 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind,' which is due on Blu-ray exclusively from Sony on November 13.
So, does Universal Japan know something we don't? Despite Spielberg's apparent preference for Blu-ray, could HD DVD releases of the director's earlier titles in fact be in the works? With no official word from the director or studio, your guess is as good as ours. Stay tuned...
- Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)