Praise the baby Jebus 'cause after slipping their ship date due to lack of content from the studios, Toshiba quietly began selling their new HD-XA1 HD DVD player in Japanese stores... today! That makes Tosh the first second (Sony's BDZ-S77 Blu-ray player and recorder has been on sale in Japan for a few years) next-gen optical format to hit the shelves  -- a full four-months ahead of Sony's BDP-S1 Blu-ray player launch in July. Apparently, the HD-XA1 sports an MSRP of 100,000 yen ($940) and if purchased before 27 April, comes bundled with HD DVD copies of Resident Evil and the Japanese movie Moonlight Jellyfish -- the lower-end HD-A1 does not seem to be available, yet. Tosh threw us an offiicial launch date of April for the US with the HD-XA1 tagged for $799 retail while the HD-A1 comes in at a blue-light special price of $499. And just for kix, Tosh also mentioned that those HD DVD-equipped PCs should drop sometime between April and June as well. We'll see, let's just get those players out the door first, and some flix too, please to make the purchase really worthwhile.

[Via Akihabara News]

Today in Engadget Mobile: March 30, 2006