HD DVD has finally touched down in Europe with the release of Toshiba's HD-E1 HD DVD player. For all intents and purposes identical to the second generation HD-A2 recently released in the U.S. it carries an MSRP of £450 and of course shares the HDMI 1.2 connector, slim design, 1080i output and lack of analog 5.1 outputs from its American cousin. The official Toshiba site mentions that at launch, the player will not be compatible with 25fps or 50hz encoded HD DVD titles, but will later after a firmware update, but its not clear if any such discs are available yet. A quick look at Amazon shows titles like V for Vendetta and Superman Returns ready to ship. Europe may have had to wait quite a while for HD DVD to hit but all in all are starting off with a much more refined product and pool of available titles to choose from. The high end HDMI 1.3-equipped 1080p-capable HD-XE1 is still set to ship in January, but we're really waiting to see what happens when Blu-ray movie exclusives in the U.S. become available on HD DVD in Europe via Studio Canal.
[Via HDTV UK]