Sony announced at their Las Vegas '06 Open House event that their first Blu-ray Disc Player BDP-S1 is available for pre-order starting today March 17th. Besides Sony Style, Amazon.com and other stores are supposed to open pre-order today.
At the CES 2006 it looked like the Samsung BD-1000 Blu-ray player will ship in Spring and be the first Blu-ray player on the market. Things changed I guess. I cannot find any store offering the Samsung Blu-ray Disc player.
The timing for the announcement is good, as HD-DVD is apparently facing some delays.
Although you can pre-order the Sony BDP-S1 for about $1,000 it will not ship until July. It is the hottest gamble for Early Adopters since a long time. HD-DVD or Blu-ray? Who will succeed? Or are we going to see dual-format HD drives, like the one LG mentioned this week.
The Toshiba HD DVD Player HD-A1 sells for half what Sony wants to charge you for their High definition player. Sony's player does 1080p, whereas the Toshiba HD DVD players only do 720p/1080i. Sony is also upconverting standard DVDs to 1080p. I do not thing the resolution will be the decision maker, it will and should be the movie line-up. Besides the BDP-S1 Sony is also going to offer the following Blu-ray productrs: A VAIO desktop, notebook computers, an aftermarket internal computer drive, and recordable/rewritable media.
The VAIO PC with Blu-ray Disc will be available for about $2,300. Both the VAIO RC desktop and notebook with a Blu-ray Disc drive will be available by early summer.
In April, Sony plans to begin shipping 25GB BD-R (write once) and BD-RE (rewritable) discs for about $20 and $25 respectively. The 50GB BD-R and BD-RE dual-layer discs will come in subsequent months for about $48 and $60 respectively.
More details in this Sony press-release.
Amazon.com offers the Sony BDP-S1 for $999.00.