Blu-ray to See Major Launch in Japan

Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 10:23 AM PDT by
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Blu-ray will hit Japan in a big way later this year, with several top studios announcing a major launch of about 75 disc titles at a Tokyo news conference yesterday.

Among the high-profile releases due in the fourth quarter include 'Pirate of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' and 'Chicken Little' from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, and 'The Da Vinci Code' from Sony Pictures.

Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment also plan to support the format with their own extensive batches of titles, though no specifics were revealed.

Sony also announced at the conference that unlike the current region coding system adopted for DVD, Japanese Blu-ray titles will share the same region code with the United States, making the discs in theory fully playable on U.S. players.

Region coding in general is being simplified on Blu-ray, with three territories only, versus eight for standard DVD, Sony reps said.

As first reported last week, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is set to make a major announcement tomorrow regarding fourth quarter Blu-ray hardware and software plans for the United States. A simultaneous, or near-simultaneous, Stateside release of the Japan launch titles thus appears highly likely.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the latest Blu-ray news as soon as it is officially announced.

Tags: Disc Announcements (all tags)