Warner Home Video has announced that it’s taking orders for the first three titles to be released in HD-DVD format: Batman Begins, Million Dollar Baby, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. These are slated to ship at the end of March and early April. Pricing has not been announced, as far as I know, and the Amazon entries don’t show any pricing yet.
It is worth noting that Warner has also announced that it will also ship Blu-ray versions of many movies, though I have not yet seen release dates for those.
The big question, of course, is what will you use to view one of these HD-DVDs when they do ship? Toshiba has announced plans to ship two HD-DVD players in March, but we’ve seen ship dates come and go more than once. It will be interesting to see just how long it takes to get a selection of hardware to the market.
I’ll repeat what I’ve said elsewhere. Speed to market seems like a compelling factor in the competition between HD-DVD and Blu-ray, but I don’t think it’s important. As the saying goes, “content is king,” and it will be the choice of titles that is likely to decide this competition. And if the content competition is a push, then cost will be the tie-breaker.