Counter Strike

It's a Blu, Blu SummerLast month, Toshiba announced that it had started shipping its HD-DVD players with three free discs; now, the Blu-ray assocation hits back with its own summer offer.

(American readers can find their version here.)

It’s a simple deal: Buy any qualifying Blu-ray player (and by “qualifying”, they mean “any”, including the PlayStation 3) between now and September 30th, and receive five Blu-ray discs by mail. There are twenty titles to choose from; in the tradition of the Toshiba HD-DVD mail-in rebate, they’re grouped into studio-defined tiers, which limits the options somewhat. (I’d have taken “The Last Waltz”, “Transporter 2” and, er, “Species” out of Category 5, if they’d let me.)

Even so. Five free discs, from six different studio partners — Sony, Disney, Warner, Paramount, Fox/MGM and Lionsgate; it’s a subtle yet undeniably effective slap at Toshiba’s deal, which offers only three discs because, well, HD-DVD only has three studio partners.

And if you’ve decided to buy Panasonic’s DMP-BD10A — the one with five free discs included already — you don’t have to worry about duplicate titles. Pretty sweet deal.

Oh, and apropos of nothing, an animated rodent kicked John McClane’s ass over the weekend. In a manner of speaking.