My Two Cents

PlayStation 5 will have a 4K UHD drive, plus Fox’s Simpsons S1-20 DVD box & Adam Jahnke’s Tribulation

October 8, 2019 - 6:43 pm   |   by
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All right, we start today with a bit of news for gamers that will also make physical media fans happy... or at least it should.

Sony has begun to reveal details about its forthcoming PlayStation 5 game console (and yes, that is the official name), which is due in late 2020 (in time for the holidays), and the great news is that they’ve confirmed it will have an optical 4K Ultra HD disc drive for movies and 100 GB optical game discs.

Other details include an SSD drive, an AMD Ryzen CPU, Navi GPU hardware with ray-tracing acceleration, controllers with adaptive triggers and improved speakers to boost haptic feedback, and more. You can read all the details here at Wired.

Now, here’s the thing: Physical media is in decline. There’s just no doubt about it. Sales are down, studios are getting more choosy about what they release on disc, and studios like Disney are dumping catalog titles on 4K disc ahead of paywalling them all as Digital 4K streams with HDR on Disney+. [Read on here...]

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So a lot of disc consumers have worried—especially with companies like Oppo getting out of the player business—how they’ll be able to get a BD/4K player to watch their movies. By supporting the PS5 with a 4K optical disc drive, Sony is almost single-handedly extending the life of physical media. Not only will it be a good player, it’s likely to be one of the better players.

It’s even possible (though we’ll have to wait and see) that Microsoft will include a similar 4K drive in their next generation Xbox, currently known as Project Scarlett, which is due around the same time (late 2020).

So the good news is, there’s going to be at least one great BD/4K disc player available for much of the next decade. Sony’s PS3 debuted in 2006. Seven years later, in 2012, the company introduced the PS4. A late 2020 debut for the PS5 will mark another 7 years. So it seems reasonable to assume that you’ll be able to watch your existing (and future) movie disc collections on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K UHD until at least 2027. There’s been plenty of depressing news for disc fans in the last year or two, so this should give you all some solace.

Now them, the other big piece of news today is that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just announced that they’re releasing a massive limited edition 79-disc/441-episode DVD box set, The Simpsons: The Complete Seasons 1-20, on 12/3. Only 1000 units will be available, half of which will be distributed to Amazon while the others will go to Best Buy. The SRP on Amazon is (or was, it seems to be unavailable at the moment) was $499.98. There’s no exclusive content in the set, so it’s reasonable to assume it just collects all of the previously released DVDs. Here’s what the packaging looks like (with an Amazon link)...

The Simpsons: The Complete Seasons 1-20 (DVD Box set Limited Edition)

Now, people have asked: Why DVD? Keep in mind that Seasons 1-12 of the show are only available in SD (in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio). Seasons 12-17 plus 20 have been released in Blu-ray too at the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. So it’s complicated. They can’t really do a full BD box set of Seasons 1-20, and to add the BDs of Seasons 12-17 and 20 to this set would increase the expensive even more. So DVD is what we get.

And one last thing today: Our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has been working on his Tribulation audio drama. Adam released the first series of the story online as a podcast and Audible picked it up as an Audible Original! They’ve now recorded a newly-enhanced version of the first series which debuts on October 17 with actor Josh Charles playing the lead role... AND they’ve recorded a second series too. You can find it here, it’s terrific, and we highly recommend you all check it out!

Tribulation by Adam Jahnke (An Audible Original)

All right, that’s it for today. Stay tuned...

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)


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