Earlier this month Apple Computer revealed a new direction in the Final Cut Studio roadmap. In view of the release of the Adobe Production Studio, Apple made a majority of their Pro Applications into an all or none bundle. Previous editions of Motion, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Soundtrack Pro stood as individual applications, but as of now are available only as part of the $1299 Final Cut Studio integrated suite. Shake, Logic Pro, and Aperture continue to be sold as stand alone tools.
Apple also announced the introduction of the Universal version of Final Cut Studio available by the end of march 2006 for a $49 upgrade fee, just in time for NAB in Las Vegas. Historically, Apple has used the NAB show in late April to showcase the development of the Final Cut Studio. In 2004, Apple and Panasonic stunned the high definition world with the introduction of the DVCPRO HD native codec into a Final Cut Pro timeline. In 2005 apple revealed Soundtrack Pro, and a tighter fusion of the Final Cut Studio applications. 2006 should be an interesting time for Apple as they prepare their software for both powerPC and Intel chip architectures.
Final Cut Studio box image courtesy of Apple.