Sony to Hold Back Blu-Ray Titles

Figuring that content for a new technology without a means to actually experience it would be futile, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) said in recent days that although the studio's first group of Blu-ray DVD releases will be ready, technically, to go on sale by May 23 as originally planned, the first titles will now not be released until June 20 when the first Blu-ray players are expected to reach the market.

SPHE execs said in a statement the majority of Sony's retail base and hardware partners have asked it to reconsider the earlier content release date, in order to coincide with the first commercially available Blu-ray player hardware. The decision to delay shipment of Blu-ray titles came a few weeks after Samsung announced its first Blu-ray player unit will not arrive on shelves until June 25.

Blu-ray titles now scheduled for release on June 20 are mostly films that have been available on standard DVD for a few years: "50 First Dates," "The Fifth Element," "Hitch," "House of Flying Daggers," "A Knight's Tale," "The Last Waltz," "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" and "xXx."