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Sony delays Blu-ray Disc movie launch

First titles out in June, not May

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Sony's US home video division has put back the release of pre-recorded Blu-ray Discs by a month because machines capable of playing them will not be available until 20 June. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) had originally intended to ship the discs on 23 May.

"The majority of our retail base and hardware partners have requested that we reconsider this date to better coincide with the first commercially available Blu-ray-compatible hardware," SPHE president Benjamin Feingold said, Reuters reports. This will "ensure a more coordinated launch".

The move isn't entirely surprising. Last month, Samsung said it was delaying the release of its BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player to 25 June, and since this is still expected to be the first BD player to ship in the US, there's little point in shipping discs too far ahead of it.

June will also see the arrival of computer-oriented BD drives from the likes of Panasonic and IO Data.

SPHE took the opportunity of the delay to revise its launch line-up, which now includes Underworld Evolution, 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight's Tale, The Last Waltz, Resident Evil Apocalypse and XXX.

Warner Home Video, among others, is also planning to offer movies on BD, but no specific dates have been announced yet. ®

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