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Sony delays Blu-ray disc player release again

Posted: 26 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sony? Blu-ray disc player? BDP-S1? delay? Dennis Barker?

According to reports, Sony has delayed again the release of its stand-alone BDP-S1 Blu-ray disc player to December, or possibly not until 2007. The player was scheduled to arrive on retailers shelves this week. Originally, the BDP-S1 was due out in July, but was postponed to August, then to October 25.

Apparently, the delay may have been a strategic decision that is based on availability of blue laser diode supplies rather than any trouble with the playerunlike the problems Samsung recently encountered. As early as last year, it was speculated by several journalists and industry insiders that Sony would have problems delivering both PS3 and a stand-alone Blu-ray Disc player. The Blu-ray diode used in the BDP-S1 is the same one used in Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, which is set for release on November 17. According to experts and analysts in Consumer Electronics, there simply doesn't seem to be enough parts to go around.

In the hierarchy of products in Sony, PlayStation 3 ranks much higher than the BDP-S1 in terms of expected sales. It appears that the company is reserving its Blu-ray diode supply for PlayStation 3 at the expense of movie buffs, early adopters, and those who want movies in high-definition resolution of 1080p.

Recent announcements by Sony stated that it now plans to have only 400,000 PlayStation 3 consoles ready for sale in North America alone on the release date, which is less than half of its original sales projections. While the company hopes to be able to ship over one million units by the end of the holiday season, it seems unlikely at this point. On the other hand, the gaming industry feels that 400,000 consoles will not be nearly enough to satisfy demand.

The delay of the Sony BDP-S1 will clearly affect Blu-ray movie sales this holiday season. While companies like Panasonic, Pioneer and Philips are still expected to also have players out some time this fall, Sony's delay will have a ripple effect across the board.

While Sony isn't the only manufacturer of Blu-ray players, it is one of the main proponents of the technology. According to industry journal Video Business, "Retailers were already expecting a shortage of Blu-ray and HD DVD players this shopping season, and at least one studio, Warner Home Video, had recently cut its sales projection in half for high-def movies."

- Dennis Barker
Digital TV Designline

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