Sony Delays First Blu-ray Movies

Supporters of HD DVD have another reason to be happy Thursday as Sony announced that it would delay the release of the first Blu-ray discs until June 20. However, according to company executives, the delay is not due to any issues with the discs.

The initial Blu-ray movies are still expected to be completed and ready to ship by the previous May 23 deadline. But retail and hardware partners asked for a one-month delay so that the releases would coincide with the first commercially available players.

To be released June 20 is "Underworld Evolution" (arriving the same day as the DVD), "50 First Dates," "The Fifth Element," "Hitch," "House of Flying Daggers," "A Knight's Tale," "The Last Waltz," "Resident Evil Apocalypse" and "XXX."

The first Blu-ray player is to come from Samsung, and that device has been delayed until June 25. Its $999 USD price tag is expected to make it the cheapest Blu-ray disc player for at least several months.

Most players based on the high-definition DVD technology have been priced in the $1,000 to $2,000 USD range.

Warner Home Video is also expected to ship its Blu-ray movie titles at about the same time as the Samsung launch, but the company has not announced a firm date.

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