3D Blu-ray content locked away in exclusive bundles

As 3D HDTV’s and 3D Blu-ray players continue to make their way into the consumer electronics market, some consumers are hesitant to purchase the costly hardware due to a lack of available 3D content.

Now it seems that the studios are making things even worse, by exclusively bundling 3D content with specific hardware, while not releasing standalone versions of those same 3D Blu-ray titles.

3D Blu-ray content locked away in exclusive bundles

Industry rumblings indicate that the Avatar 3D Blu-ray edition will be released this November, but only with the purchase of Panasonic 3D equipment, for “several months”, according to information received by HollywoodInHiDef.

Another rumor says that Disney is close to finalizing a deal with Sony Electronics to release an Alice in Wonderland 3D Blu-ray Disc this fall, exclusively bundled with the purchase of Sony 3D hardware. None of the companies involved would officially confirm these rumors, but the information was obtained by sources “very close to the filmmakers and others close to the companies involved in the release strategy”.

Up until last week, there was only one 3D Blu-ray title available to consumers. That title was Dreamworks Monsters vs Aliens, and it is only available with the purchase of Samsung 3D TV’s and Blu-ray players. The Samsung hardware exclusivity agreement for that 3D title has since expired, but there is still no announced standalone retail release date for the Monsters vs Aliens 3D Blu-ray.

Last week, 3D Blu-ray editions of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Coraline were released to the market, but only with the purchase of a Panasonic 3D Blu-ray player. There have been no announcements to release standalone versions of those 3D Blu-ray titles either.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol will be released on 3D Blu-ray this fall, but only in a 4 disc combo pack priced at $49.99 (including the standard non-3D Blu-ray Disc and the DVD version).

The very first standalone 3D Blu-ray title will be Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, slated for an early summer release.

But with all these exclusive hardware bundles and locked away 3D content, will this help 3D adoption or hinder it? For consumers who purchase a standalone 3D TV or even one of these bundles, it appears that they will have a very difficult time acquiring additional 3D movies, thanks to all of these silly exclusivity agreements.