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John Woo Goes Blu on 'Boiled' Game-Movie Combo

17 May, 2007 By: John Gaudiosi

Hard Boiled

SAN DIEGO — Midway Games has partnered with The Weinstein Co. and Genius Products to create the first video game-movie hybrid Blu-ray Disc. When gamers buy the $70 Stranglehold Collector's Edition for PlayStation 3 later this summer, they will not only get a full game, but also a high-definition version of the movie Hard-Boiled, which has not previously been released on Blu-ray.

“Putting a movie on a Blu-ray Disc certainly adds value to the game,” said Billy Pidgeon, video game analyst for IDC. “These discs have a lot of storage capacity, and this gives Midway a chance to fill that space and offers consumers a value with two different entertainment mediums on a single disc.”

Director John Woo created Stranglehold, as an interactive video game sequel to Hard-Boiled. The game has actor Chow Yun-Fat reprising his role as Inspector Tequila in an original plot that takes place 10 years after the events of the movie.

Woo created the game's story, directed the motion-capture action and oversaw the game's development. With his support, Midway approached the rights holders to the film with the dual-format idea. Weinstein and Genius were eager to deliver the title to a new audience on a new format. As a result, gamers who haven't seen the original film, which is also being released on DVD July 24 in a 15th anniversary two-disc ultimate edition of the classic film via their Dragon Dynasty DVD label, will be able to see the movie and then control the protagonist in a new interactive adventure. Midway is still working out details on what types of extras the movie will have, but it's likely at least two languages will be offered.

“The exclusive collector's edition of Stranglehold demonstrates the power of the PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Disc and the total entertainment experience that can only be found on PlayStation 3,” said Riley Russell, SVP of Third Party Relations and general counsel for SCEA. “The 50GB capacity of Blu-ray Disc allows PS3 content publishers to do things simply not possible on our competitor's 9GB DVD-based systems. Thanks to the advanced technology found in PS3, developers like Midway can truly realize their visions, bringing consumers even closer to the game.”

This endeavor opens the door to future double features on Blu-ray Disc as long as the rights holders to films and the game companies that license IPs for PS3 games can work together. It's likely that this scenario will work best with older titles such as Hard Boiled. Old movies are being brought to PS3 these days as new games, such as The Godfather, Scarface and Dirty Harry, offering unique opportunities to marry traditional and interactive entertainment on a single disc.

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