Sony Pictures Home Ent. (SPHE) will deliver the first wave of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles on May 23, three months after the rival HD-DVD format begins its launch. Delivery will coincide with the launch that day of the first commercially available BD player from Samsung Electronics, which will be followed shortly by BD players from Pioneer and Sony along with a BD compatible VAIO PC from Sony.
SPHE and MGM Home Ent. will first release eight BD titles, with another eight following shortly June 13.
The first Blu-ray Disc titles from SPHE and MGM Home Ent. will include: 50 FIRST DATES, THE FIFTH ELEMENT, HITCH, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, A KNIGHT'S TALE, THE LAST WALTZ (MGM), RESIDENT EVIL APOCALYPSE and XXX.
BD titles streeting June 13 include: KUNG FU HUSTLE, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, ROBOCOP (MGM), STEALTH, SPECIES (MGM), SWAT and TERMINATOR (MGM). UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION will debut in early summer day-and-date with the standard DVD.
"We are primed to ensure that a variety of Blu-ray Disc content is available at retail to support the introduction of the first BD players from Samsung Electronics and Pioneer, as well as the first BD player and compatible VAIO computer from Sony," said Benjamin S. Feingold, president, SPHE. "Sony Pictures further intends to provide additional titles to coincide with the launch of BD products from other manufacturers. We're thrilled that the Blu-ray Disc era is about to begin."
"As a charter member of the Blu-Ray Disc Assn. (BDA), Samsung Electronics is proud to introduce the first commercially available Blu-ray Disc player, BD-P1000, to Best Buy, Circuit City and electronic specialty store consumers on May 23," said Jim Sanduski, svp of marketing for Samsung Electronics America. "We're extremely pleased to join Sony Pictures Home Ent. in providing an outstanding high definition experience that features the next generation optical disc format."
"Pioneer is thrilled to offer the BDP-HD1, our first Blu-ray Disc player, which will allow consumers to purchase high definition content to watch in the comfort of their own homes," said Sam Ohdate, president of home entertainment for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "With exciting new titles like these being released by Sony Pictures Home Ent. and other studios, we're confident Blu-ray disc will become the next generation in home entertainment."
"Our BD enabled VAIO PCs incorporate the very best and latest technology to help consumers unleash their creativity and experience entertainment in new, exciting ways," said Mike Abary, vp of VAIO product marketing in the U.S. "We're eagerly looking forward to having engaging Blu-ray content available that really takes advantage of the performance these PCs can achieve."
"The first Blu-ray Disc titles from Sony Pictures Home Ent. mark a significant milestone in the BD revolution of home entertainment" said Philip Abram, vp of marketing for Sony Electronics' Home Products Division.
The Blu-ray Disc format provides nearly five times more data storage than DVD, with an unprecedented 25 GB (single-layer) and 50 GB (dual-layer) of capacity. Blu-ray Disc players are backward compatible with other disc formats and deliver the highest quality high-definition (HD) entertainment, while providing a secure playback environment through the use of the most advanced copy protection available.
Blu-ray Disc was created to support the accelerating convergence between consumer electronics and information technology. The platform can also support numerous film, music, computer and game applications. Sony Computer Ent. recently announced plans to utilize BD-ROM technology in the next-generation PlayStation 3 system.
Blu-ray is supported by more than 170 leading hardware and software manufacturers, including leading innovators in the CE and IT industries.
Sony Pictures Home Ent. (www.sonypictures.com) is a division of Sony Corp. of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corp. Sony Pictures Ent. global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries.