The Criterion Collection’s long-awaited HD debut — delayed by that annoying format war — finally has a date, as well as a list of the first movies getting a definitive release in 1080p. If that wasn’t enough, try this bit on for size: They won’t charge viewers extra for the privilege. That’s right, according to the e-mail that went out to subscribers today, all Blu-ray releases will feature HD picture and sound (no word on what codecs, although we expect nothing but the best considering the company has been mastering and restoring all releases in HD for years now), all the supplemental content and a matching (unspecified) price to their standard DVD editions. The complete email and list of a dozen movies follows after the break, along with a note that The Last Emperor will also be released in its original theatrical version on both formats for $39.95, while Walkabout will be an all-new edition.

Dear Criterion Collection Newsletter subscriber,

We’ve got some exciting news for this fall, and we wanted you to hear it first.

Our first Blu-ray discs are coming! We’ve picked a little over a dozen titles from the collection for Blu-ray treatment, and we’ll begin rolling them out in October. These new editions will feature glorious high-definition picture and sound, all the supplemental content of the DVD releases, and they will be priced to match our standard-def editions.

Here’s what’s in the pipeline:

The Third Man
Bottle Rocket
Chungking Express
The Man Who Fell to Earth
The Last Emperor
El Norte
The 400 Blows
Gimme Shelter
The Complete Monterey Pop
For All Mankind
The Wages of Fear

Alongside our DVD and Blu-ray box sets of The Last Emperor, we’ll also be putting out the theatrical version as a stand-alone release in both formats, priced at $39.95. Our Blu-ray release of Walkabout will be an all-new edition, featuring new supplements as well as a new transfer; we will also release an updated anamorphic DVD of Nicolas Roeg’s outback masterpiece at the same time.

As a special thank you to our newsletter subscribers, we’d like to offer you all $10 off any order of $60 or more placed on on through Monday, May 26.

Enjoy spring!

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