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Disney will not be releasing its two big summer hits "Cars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" will not be released on the Blu-ray high definition disc format in 2006, according to an August 9 article in Video Business:
Disney’s biggest summer hits Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest won’t be coming to Blu-ray this year, company president and CEO Bob Iger confirmed during the studio’s third-quarter earnings call Wednesday morning.
“We need a few things in terms of platform penetration,” Iger said. “It’s still early in the life of next-generation DVD to predict. In all likelihood, adoption of next-gen DVD will be slower to market than standard-definition DVD, which was rather dramatic.”
Iger quickly added that he believes in the long-term success of high-definition.
Many believe that such high-profile releases are necessary to the longevity of the new high definition formats (HD DVD and Blu-ray) that are competing for consumer dollars. Disney is technically on the Blu-ray side of the industry's format war on customers, but that last sentence indicates that they may be willing to play both sides of the fence.
The impression I get from the above comments is that Blu-ray has not achieved an adoption rate that Disney must want in order to release its major titles. Earlier this year, Sony's Blu-ray player was supposed to have been released by now, and it has been delayed until at least October 25, 2006. Currently, only one player is available, which is the Samsung BDP-1000, which has been found to have a video glitch that affects the picture quality of all discs played on it. Players from Pioneer and Panasonic are not due until September, and Sony's ace-in-the-hole, the Playstation 3, is not due until November.
One can only hope that the industry will figure out that consumers do not want to be stuck with an obsolete format and either release a dual-format player for less than $1500 (the price of a Samsung Blu-ray player and a Toshiba HD DVD player combined) or all the studios need to drop their customer-unfriendly exclusive arrangements and release on both formats.
I don't think either will happen any time soon. And then the studios wonder why people aren't buying into either format in droves?
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