Japan: Sony to Offer Blu-ray Recorder Before Player

Sony still plans to introduce its first Blu-ray Disc recorder-player in Japan later this year, as the firm deals with delays in production of its Blu-ray players and some Sony movie content in the latter half of 2006.

At a Sony event last week in Tokyo to promote some of its upcoming devices, the company said HD products will account for nearly 80 percent of its video-related sales in 2007, according to published reports. While Sony said it still plans to ship its first Blu-ray player to North America within the next few weeks, its first Blu-ray product to be shipped in Japan reportedly will be the next-gen DVD recorder.

DVD recorders are more popular in Japan than playback-only players, Sony said, and the company thinks its PlayStation 3 (with built-in Blu-ray drive) should satisfy the demands of those wishing to purchase Blu-ray players. Sony's first recorder is designed to comply with BD-RE 2.0 (BD is "Blu-ray Disc") and will be able to play both single- and double-layer BD-ROMs, as well as standard discs.

Sony recently confirmed its shipment of the PS3 to Europe will be delayed until early 2007 because of problems mass-producing the unit's Blu-ray components. Subsequently, planned PS3 shipments to North America and Japan later this fall will be sharply reduced, perhaps by as much as half, according to published reports (HD Notebook, Sept. 13, 2006).