We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Sony names first Blu-ray Disc movies

Announced at CES

Sony's home entertainment unit has named the first 20 movies it intends to launch on Blu-ray Disc, the high-definition video disc format backed by Sony and several other major consumer electronics manufacturers.

The announcement was made to coincide with the start of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas at which commercialisation plans for the format are expected to be announced.

"We want everyone to know that there will be plenty of software content [for the launch of Blu-ray Disc]," said Ben Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, in a telephone interview.

Sony's first movies will include: The Fifth Element, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Desperado, For a Few Dollars More, The Guns of Navarone, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight's Tale, Kung Fu Hustle, The Last Waltz, Legends of the Fall, Resident Evil Apocalypse, Robocop, Sense and Sensibility, Stealth, Species, SWAT, XXX, Black Hawk Down and The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The discs will be launched to coincide with the availability of home players, he said. Major consumer electronics brands are expected to disclose their launch schedule later in the week.

The retail price of the discs wasn't disclosed, and Feingold said this will be announced in the next couple of weeks. He said they will be more expensive than existing DVDs, but not a lot more.

"I think people will be happy," he said of the pricing.

Among the launch titles, Bram Stoker's Dracula will be released with multichannel uncompressed audio and both Black Hawk Down and The Bridge on the River Kwai will be released on dual-layer 50GB discs, said Feingold.

Content makers have a choice of three video compression systems to choose from on Blu-ray Disc, including Mpeg2, which is used on current DVDs, and the newer VC1 and Mpeg4 AVC formats. Sony will employ the Mpeg2 system because it can provide a better picture, said Feingold.

"The new codecs are interesting but unproven," he said.

From the middle of the year the company plans to add Java-based games to its discs. At about the same time, new releases should be running at around four titles per month rising to 10 titles per month by the end of the year.

Blu-ray Disc is backed by a group of major consumer electronics manufacturers including Sony, Matsushita and Samsung. It will compete against the HD-DVD format, which is backed by the DVD Forum and companies including Toshiba, NEC, Intel and Microsoft.

The first HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc players are expected in stores during the first half of this year.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model