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Japanese mag offers first HD DVD cover disc

Japanese men's magazine Sabra is the first to come with an HD DVD cover disc

In an odd twist to the next-generation format wars, a Japanese magazine has become the first in the world to issue an edition with an attached high-definition cover disc.

The popular biweekly publication, Sabra , has just gone on sale with both its usual cover-mounted DVD and an HD DVD filled with video and images.

Sabra, a men's lifestyle magazine similar to Loaded and filled mainly with photos of bikini models, has printed over 100,000 copies of its latest issue. They come complete with full instructions on how to play the new disc ("Buy an HD DVD player") and low-resolution versions of the same content on a standard DVD for ¥550 (£2.45).

Given that apart from the Xbox 360 add-on drive and a player from Toshiba, there are next to no HD DVD machines available, it's pretty clear that Sabra's venture is little more than a bold marketing gimmick.