HD DVD Gets Launch Date

    January 5, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Toshiba picked March 2006 for the consumer debut of their next-generation DVD format players; it’s only an astonishing coincidence that the Sony PlayStation 3 with Blu-ray disc support launches in the spring of 2006.

After a quiet winter where the DVD wars took a break, Toshiba fired up the PR machinery and began talking about its HD DVD format. Toshiba slated March 2006 as the arrival date for its next-gen players, IDG reported from CES 2006.

Two models priced at $500 and $800 hit the retail shelves in the same timeframe industry observers expect Sony to release the PlayStation 3. Though Sony designed the PS3 with a Blu-ray drive on board, separate Blu-ray players have not been announced with a more fixed launch date than “early summer.”

Microsoft, a HD DVD backer and cross-licensor of technology with Toshiba, may give HD DVD a boost in the spring. During his keynote address at CES, Microsoft’s Bill Gates disclosed an external HD DVD player for use with the Xbox 360 gaming console was in the works.

Pricing or release dates for that new Xbox 360 accessory haven’t been announced yet. When it does arrive, users will have movies from Warner Bros. Studios available for purchase.

HD DVD said in a statement Warner Home Video has 24 titles picked for the new format, and listed Batman Begins and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire among the group. WHV also included sci-fi blockbuster The Matrix and the legendary Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles on the release schedule.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.