Los Angeles (CA) – A Sony Pictures spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter that, although production of the company’s first Blu-ray movie titles will proceed on schedule, to be shipped on 23 May, retail availability of those titles will probably be withheld until 20 June, at the earliest. The delay is timed to coincide with the rollout of the first Blu-ray players, from Sony and others, the following week.
While not exactly a production delay, the news is being treated as a delay nonetheless, even though customers who would have purchased Blu-ray discs three weeks from now would have had no players to run them on.
Last February, Sony Pictures announced it would be releasing two waves of Blu-ray movies, with the first wave available on 23 May, and the second on 13 June. This morning’s announcement makes it likely that both waves will actually come simultaneously, so the second wave will actually be delayed only a week. There should be 16 titles available from Sony Pictures and its MGM subsidiary, come the last week of June.
Warner Home Video had announced months earlier that it would wait to release its Blu-ray movie selections in tandem with the players’ release, and has waited to make a firm announcement about what titles it will offer, perhaps until it’s certain of BD players’ actual release date.