Slate’s Josh Levin dons a hairshirt and makes public penance: Last fall he got suckered — or suckered himself — into buying a HD-DVD player.
This is an entertaining read, but also a sad one. Not just for Josh, who shelled out $150 for the player last fall, drawn in part by the “buy one, get seven discs free” offer. But also for Hollywood and the consumer electronics business in general, which wasted years, and billions, while Toshiba and Blu-ray butted heads in a stupid format wat. Great, bitter money quote:
Remember those seven free discs? Two of them (The Bourne Identity and 300) came with the player, but I had to mail in a UPC code to collect the other five. Perhaps the cereal-boxlike nature of this giveaway should’ve tipped me off that HD-DVD was the Frank Stallone of high-definition disc technology. Or maybe the pathetic list of available titles—The Hulk, Aeon Flux, Darkman—should’ve alerted me to Blu-ray’s back-catalogue advantage. Anyway, the relevant point here is that I still haven’t received any of these terrible movies. You can keep them, Toshiba. I’m sure there’s someone somewhere who collects unplayable copies of Black Rain.