Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that it is targeting May 23rd to deliver the first wave of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles at North American retail. According to the firm, this date will coincide with the launch 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 Entertainment will first release eight BD titles, with another eight following shortly June 13, according to the announcement, which did not discuss a possible hardware launch date for Sony's PlayStation 3, which will also be able to play Blu-Ray movie discs. The format continues to battle the rival HD-DVD optical disc type, which will be playable
on the Xbox 360 thanks to an add-on drive later in 2006.
The first Blu-ray Disc titles from SPHE and MGM Home Entertainment 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 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 Mr. Feingold. "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."