Last fall, Criterion announced that they would no longer give customers a choice between buying DVDs or Blu-ray format. Instead, they would release only combo packs, with both formats, due to production costs.
However, they’ve now changed that plan. From their blog:
… no one seemed particularly happy with the solution. Blu-ray customers didn’t like making room for DVDs they didn’t want, and DVD customers didn’t like paying more to get a Blu-ray they couldn’t play. We soon found that we had to start releasing stand-alone DVD editions alongside the dual-format ones because a fairly large proportion of our audience has not made the leap to Blu-ray yet. And once we had separate DVD editions, what was the point of putting DVDs in with the Blu-rays? A good question.
With that in mind, when we announce our September titles at the beginning of next week, we’ll be going back to releasing separate DVD and Blu-ray editions. In most cases, the contents of the releases will be the same in both formats. This may come as welcome news to many of you and perhaps as a disappointment to some, but please know that we’ll keep thinking and listening, experimenting and exploring, so do let us know your thoughts and preferences.
It’s very welcome to see a company so responsive to customer feedback, although the comments following this post at their site demonstrate in copious quantity that you can’t please everyone. Those who liked having two copies of the film, so they could choose which version to watch, are particularly disappointed, although those satisfied by DVD are happy to return to getting a discount on their purchases by comparison.
Apparently, some combo pack buyers were selling the DVD half on eBay to recoup some of their outlay, which may have factored into the decision.