Answering the cries of HD DVD/DVD combo-haters everywhere, Warner has issued a non-combo edition of '300,' but there's a catch -- you'll need to buy a new Toshiba HD DVD player to get it.
As we first reported several weeks back, consumers buying Toshiba's third-generation HD DVD players will receive a total of seven free HD DVD discs, including two of the format's most popular titles -- Warner's '300' and Universal's 'Bourne Identity' -- bundled right in the box.
Now that the first of the new players have begun shipping, we've learned that the edition of '300' that comes in the box differs in one crucial way from the HD DVD/DVD combo version that was released in the US this past July: it drops the combo disc's DVD flipside.
According to initial reports, the disc's HD DVD side is otherwise identical to the commercially-released version, with the only net loss in terms of overall content being the audio commentary, which had been exclusive to the disc's DVD side (the HD DVD side replaces that track with its own exclusive picture-in-picture video commentary).
Considering the disdain some early adopters have for the HD DVD/DVD combo format (see Josh Zyber's recent commentary, "Combo Discs - What Went Wrong?") we can only imagine these non-combo editions of '300' are soon to become a hot item on the trading circuit.
(Thanks to Adam for his help with this story!)