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Warner announces first Blu-ray releases; plans big third, fourth quarter for HD DVD

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Well that was quick. Warner has announced their first Blu-ray releases. They officially announced their support last October but had not yet announced any release dates. August 1 is the big day, with four movies coming out on Blu-ray, three already available on HD DVD and one all-new in high definition. Training Day, Rumor Has It and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, have already shown up on HD DVD, while George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck has not. We'll finally be able to compare the same title on either format and tell what, if any, difference there is.

As for price, Rumor Has It and Kiss, Kiss, will both carry an MSRP of $34.99. Both are available on combo HD DVD/DVD for a list of $39.99 and widescreen DVD for $28.98, although they can be had on Amazon for $27.99 and $19.98 respectively, for both movies. Training Day and Good Night, and Good Luck will both list at $28.99, which is the same list price for the Training Day HD DVD. No price difference yet, although these will probably ship on single layer Blu-ray discs (25GB), as compared to their dual layer HD DVD counterparts (30GB). Is the price war for movies already over or will things change when dual-layer Blu-ray releases roll out?

In other Warner Home Video news, VP Steve Nickerson indicated that the somewhat lacking list of movies currently available is due to their belief that we are in the "preliminary launch period" for HD DVD and we can expect much better things later this year. With Batman Begins and Harry Potter set for third quarter releases, and the Matrix and Lord of the Rings trilogies potentially debuting on HD DVD before the end of this year, it should be a very interesting Christmas season.

Read - Warner Home Video Announces First Wave of Blu-ray Launch Titles; Available August 1st and Featuring a Mix of Titles For All Consumers
Read - 'Harry Potter,' 'Batman Begins' to Lead Warner's Q4 HD DVD Charge

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