Universal announces first new HD DVD titles in 2007

Universal City (CA) - Universal Studios has announced its first couple of new HD DVD titles since we saw what it had to show off for the format at CES. The Game and The Jerk will mark their HD releases on April 17.

1970s comedy flick The Jerk will be one of the new releases, available as a double-sided combo format disc, which allows users have both an HD DVD disc and a regular DVD. The HD side will support 1080p and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio output. Special features include production notes, a theatrical trailer, and two featurettes, none of which is available in HD.

The Game, a psychological thriller from 1997, will also have 1080p quality, and will have a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 output capabilities. Universal has not announced special features. The regular DVD release of the film had virtually no bonus content, though a special edition laserdisc included a bunch of supplemental material that may make an appearance on the HD DVD release.

These are the first new HD DVD titles to be announced from Universal since CES, where it showed off a couple next-generation features the format could offer, like the ability to mark and send clips to other HD DVD owners through an ethernet connection. Universal has not said if these features will be enabled on the new titles.

The Game will retail for about $30, while The Jerk will be $35 because of the added cost of the combo format.

Previously announced HD DVD titles from Universal slated for release this year are Beerfest and The Wicker Man on January 30, and Hollywoodland on February 6. Also, Universal’s Brokeback Mountain made its HD DVD appearance today.