Blu-ray movies on sale in Europe and Australia in November
Aug 31, 2006, 18:32 GMT
Berlin - Major film studios announced Thursday in Berlin they would have action movies on new Blu-ray discs, a successor to the DVD, coming on sale in November in European and Australian shops.
High-definition discs are expected to push aside the DVD, just as the DVD replaced video-cassettes six years ago. But consumers face a choice between two incompatible successors, the HD-DVD and the Blu-ray disc. The first video recordings went on US sale this summer.
The releases were flagged on the eve of the September 1-6 IFA trade fair, one of the world's main consumer-electronics shows, although top manufacturers such as Philips said in Berlin they would not launch set-top Blu-ray movie-players till the start of next year.
Sony said it would release its Play Station 3, a game console which can also play back Blu-ray video recordings, on November 17 in Europe and Australia. The two models would be priced at 499 and 599 euros (650 and 780 dollars), with 2 million sets available at launch.
Among studios announcing their outside-the-US releases were Twentieth Century Fox, with eight titles due out November 10 in Japan and November 14 in Europe and Australia. Sony Pictures signalled an October rollout, but gave no total.
Warner said it would release 'more than 10' in 'late 2006.'
Paramount plans one main release at the end of November, Mission Impossible 3. In an indication that even the initial 25-gigabyte Blu-ray discs may not be big enough for the studios, Paramount is to release that film with extra material in a two-disc pack.
Chris Dunn of Twentieth Century Fox said studios preferred Blu-ray because it offered a way to put 50 gigabytes of data on a disc.
That is twice the capacity of the rival HD-DVD technology promoted by Toshiba.
Hollywood is expected to continue releasing most of its movies for home viewing on DVD as well, but the resolution of images from DVD is grainier, since those discs can only hold a quarter as much data. Blu-ray is designed for new high-definition television screens.
The Blu-ray Disc Association meanwhile announced that Sun Microsystems of the United States, which provides Java software for the new technology, had joined the trade group's board of directors.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur