It's what we in the industry call a win-win situation.
Call me crazy but I like free stuff, so the proposition of going along to my local (well, not really, since we’re not based in London (”Speak for yourself country boy! – Gordon”)) HMV to grab a a copy of The Matrix Trilogy on HD DVD and finding a Toshiba HD-E1 HD DVD player thrust upon me for the discount price of nothing is a dream I would probably have were my mind not crammed full of TVs.
However, unlike the visions of phone calls from Toshiba telling me that it “just has to get rid of this 1080p REGZA” getting my hands on a free HD-E1 is actually a viable proposition. The offer is elegant in its simplicity, all you have to do is wander down to the Oxford Street HMV store at the special 8am opening next Monday (the 10th) and buy The Matrix Trilogy on HD DVD and if your one of the first 150 people to do so, they’ll also throw an HD-E1 at you – not literally we suspect.
Further to that the first 400 purchasers will receive a ‘memorabilia goody bag’ the contents of which are undisclosed – an air of mystery which makes me want the bag more than the player, that’s psychology for you. There will also be some ‘very’ special guests, although I wouldn’t get your hopes up for Messrs Reeves or Fishburne turning up. It’s a shame that I’m escorted to the office by hired goons or I’d be winging my way off to take up this offer. As it is I’ll just sit here and radiate jealousy towards the lucky 150.
Of course the question has to be asked – why has this taken so long to reach the UK when it was launched in the US in May? At least Riyad can confirm that the discs are all beautifully mastered with a raft of extras, since he picked up his US box set months ago.