Sony Ships First Blu-Ray DVD Titles - InformationWeek

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Sony Ships First Blu-Ray DVD Titles

Sony releases its first movies on Blu-ray discs in anticipation of the scheduled July 25 launch of a Samsung Electronics player supporting the new high-capacity format.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Tuesday released its first movies on Blu-ray discs in anticipation of the scheduled July 25 launch of a Samsung Electronics player supporting the new high-capacity format.

The titles released to retailers included "50 First Dates," starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore; Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element;" "Hitch," starring Will Smith; "House of Flying Daggers," from director Zhang Yimou; "XXX," starring Vin Diesel; "The Terminator," featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger; and "Underworld Evolution," starring Kate Beckinsale.

More titles will be released before the launch, including "Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction," "Stealth," "Species" and "The Last Waltz."

Sony Pictures and LionsGate Pictures are among the studios supporting Blu-ray, which is competing for consumer dollars with rival format HD DVD. While most studios are picking sides, others, such as Warner Bros. and Paramount, plan to release discs on both formats.

The formats are capable of storing on disc the hefty files needed for high-definition content. A major difference, however, is in the cost of the players. Blu-ray disc players are expected to start at around $1,000, while Toshiba is currently offering an HD DVD player for about half the price.

Nevertheless, some analysts believe there won't be a winner-takes-all in the race, since several hardware manufacturers plan to release dual-format disc players this year. Research firm iSuppli Corp. forecasts that consumers will buy 1.6 million Blu-ray and HD DVD disc players by New Years.

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