Sony struts Blu-ray technology

Sony reveals that 75 Blu-ray titles will be available this year; ballpark price for movie and music discs also announced.


Today Sony gave out more details regarding its strategy and content lineup for Blu-ray, one of the next-generation optical formats fighting to succeed the DVD. Famitsu says there will be about 75 titles from 12 companies available on Blu-ray by November 8 in Japan, including films by 20th Century Fox Japan and Buena Vista. Also, Blu-ray videos will be priced in the vicinity of JPY 5,000 (about $42.80)--on par with special edition DVDs in Japan.

Although no games were shown, a PlayStation 3 was used to show off Blu-ray discs containing film and music clips, alongside Blu-ray players manufactured by Matsushita, Pioneer, and others. One perk of the format, BD JAVA, enables the browsing of information such as actor data and profiles during playback and was also demonstrated. Another feature, called BD Live, lets the viewer participate in interactive events over the Internet.

Blu-ray trends will bear watching, considering that in Japan during the early days of the PlayStation 2, the console's ability to play DVDs helped to drive sales of both the system and DVD movies. Sony is relying heavily on Blu-ray to be a success, as the company's decision to include PlayStation 3s with Blu-ray drives as standard has driven the console's cost up. The Blu-ray technology is currently competing with the Toshiba-backed HD-DVD format to be the next-generation format standard. Microsoft has announced that it is working on an external HD-DVD attachment for the Xbox 360.

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