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2000: A Review...

As we approach the end the year, I think it's time for a brief look back over the DVD developments of the last twelve months... To start I thought it would be interesting to look at just what I expected to happen this year so I've dug out the news item I posted on 30 December 1999 to see how close I actually was...

The first thing I noted was that we should be seeing the appearance of recordable DVD on UK store shelves - it hasn't happened yet, and Japan is still the only country where you can buy a recordable DVD player for a sizable chunk of money.

I predicted that Paramount and Dreamworks would both enter the Region 2 market early in 2000. Once again, this didn't quite happen and although they are now both releasing titles in the UK, it took them a little longer than anticipated. Titles I was expecting included Saving Private Ryan, Star Trek: Insurrection and The Indiana Jones Trilogy - well two out of three isn't bad!

We're still waiting to see a number of long awaited TV series on DVD. The likes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Babylon 5 have been mentioned time-and-time again, but as yet no firm details for either have emerged.

One final thing I mentioned last year was the Playstation 2 - well it's finally with us, and despite the problems Sony have suffered, the people I've spoken to that actually own one seem pretty impressed. It's going to take a lot to make me dump my Dreamcast though, so it'll be interesting to see whether I finally succomb and buy a PS2 later this year!

Of course, the last year has been an eventful one. The DVD format has grown to a point where there's now very little chance that it will fail. Yes, we have seen a number of setbacks in the form of problem discs and players but other than Disney holding firm over the Toy Story and Fantasia boxsets, all other problems either have a solution or are being worked on.

DVD player prices have dropped to the point where on Boxing Day we finally saw a player break the £100 barrier - even if it was just for one day, it shows the direction player prices are heading. I feel we've reached the point where manufacturers should be making an effort to increase reliability. We've got good prices, so let's see an improvement in performance.

The Nuon was finally launched in the US this year - but, let's be honest, is anyone bothered? On our visit to the ECTS, we saw the Nuon in action on a Samsung DVD player and to be completely honest it left me unimpressed. Unless we see some heavy promotion during the first few months of next year, the Nuon format will become obsolete faster than any other gaming system before it, and that includes the Atari Jaguar! DVD players with gaming features added have been announced by various companies - we'll soon be seeing Master System and Playstation compatible DVD players on the market!

The last couple of months have seen sales of DVD discs go through the roof. The biggest selling title this year was Gladiator which managed to shift over 180,000 discs in its first week on sale. Another recent disc - Mission: Impossible 2 shifted 120,000 in it's first week and third place was taken jointly by The Mummy and The World Is Not Enough which both managed to shift 74,000 units. Compared to last years big title - The Matrix (200,000 for the WHOLE of 1999!), all four films sold very well indeed.

2000 may become known as the year of the bargain - and we've had some biggies this year! Up until this week, most people would have put Woolworth's Alien Legacy cock-up at the top of the bargain tree - there was a saving of over £40 to be had on this one. The along comes the bargain of the century thanks to the Dixons Group - The X Files: Series One for just £19.99. That's a saving of £70 on the retail price! Was it a genuine price? Or was it an error? I don't think we'll ever know!

It has been an exciting year, no doubt about that. A lot has happened so I'd like to hear your thoughts. Why not post your own reviews of the year or other opinions as comments on this news item?

Look out for my predictions for 2001 in the next couple of days so make sure you pop back to see what I think is in store for us...

Colin Polonowski

Last updated: 19/04/2018 19:35:24

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