Blu-ray, HD DVD Deliver New Titles on June 20

Critics and consumers alike may be in the cautious mode when it comes to two incompatible new formats, but both sides are doing their best to ramp up new Blu-ray and HD DVD titles to try and generate as much buzz as possible for their respective camps.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will launch the first slate of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles next week to coincide with the first commercially available Blu-ray player from Samsung and compatible VAIO PC laptop from Sony. As announced earlier this year by Sony, initial titles will include some fairly recent as well as some older films, including "50 First Dates," "The Fifth Element," "Hitch," "House of Flying Daggers," "XXX," "The Terminator" and "Underworld Evolution." Coming out a week later on June 27 will be "Ultraviolet" (filmed in HD) along with "The Last Waltz" and "A Knight's Tale."

Other Blu-ray titles slated for mid- to late-July releases are "Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addition," "Kung Fu Hustle," "Legends of the Fall," "Stealth," "Species," "SWAT" and "Resident Evil Apocalypse."

Meanwhile, over in the HD DVD corner... Warner Home Video on June 20 will debut "Syriana" and "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." "Syriana" will be released day-and-date with its regular SD version. "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" will be released as an HD DVD/DVD combo. The original "Lethal Weapon" will take its HD DVD bow on June 27.

Prices for the discs of both formats are somewhat higher than for standard DVD discs.