|First Blu-ray Titles In Stores May 23, 2006|
|Home Theater News Blu-ray Software News|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Thursday, 02 March 2006|
Sony Pictures has announced the first titles for the Blu-ray format will be available in stores May 23, 2006. These titles include: 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight’s Tale, The Last Waltz, Resident Evil Apocalypse and XXX. The second offering titles will be available on June 13, 2006 and will include Kung Fu Hustle, Legends of the Fall, Robocop, Stealth, Species, SWAT and Terminator. Other titles to be released include Blackhawk Down, Bridge on the River Kwai and possibly others in the near future.
Samsung will be first to market with a Blu-ray player. Prices for this player and any pending Sony players are not yet available. HD-DVD players are slated for release on March 15, 2006 priced at $500 and $799 from Toshiba. It is safe to assume the very first generation Blu-ray players will be priced in the same ball park. Oddly, Sony isn’t first to market with Blu-ray players.
Consumers have feared the looming format war that is shaping up for its first real battle. With four titles being released for HD-DVD’s launch and 20 titles being slated for Blu-ray’s launch – one could argue that both sides forgot to bring enough ammunition to catch the general public’s attention. Sony Pictures has over 3,000 feature films waiting in HDTV along with 2000 more titles from its television archives. Consumers and retailers alike would have liked to have seen an initial launch of 100 to 200 titles to kick off the Blu-ray party but Sony is playing conservatively. They cite how quickly they have gotten over 400 UMD(for the Sony PSP) movie titles out in less than one year. When Playstation 3 hits the market later in 2006 – there will be strong motivations to have more than a few handful of discs on the market. For now, Sony is playing their cards close to their vest. But make no mistake… it is game on for Blu-ray and the HD disc format war.