I had two interesting conversations yesterday at the High End 2006 about Blu-ray. One was with Pioneer and the other with Panasonic.
Pioneer demoed at their booth the Blu-ray disc player BDP-HD1 (photo). Pioneer announced their Blu-ray player at the CES 2006. I talked to a couple of Pioneer people at the booth. They said Pioneer will launch the BDP-HD1 in November after the Sony PS3 has launched. I got the same launch time information from a Panasonic representative for their Blu-ray disc player DMP-BD10.
There are reports though that Sony has started to replicate Blu-ray discs in the United States. Sony's last announced release date is June 20th for nine Blu-ray disc titles. There is no clear release date for the Sony BDP-S1. The Best Buy estimated arrival time is 8/10-8/17/2006.
Looking at all this questions remain: Why are two large companies holding off on the release of their Blu-ray products? Will Sony delay again? Will only PC Blu-ray drives be available when Sony launches the first Blu-ray titles in June? The Pioneer representative was also making sure to mention that the Blu-ray movie playback quality on the Sony PS3 will be by far not as good as on their BDP-HD1. The Sony PS3 is not a low-cost product ($599), so you would actually expect to get a decent Blu-ray disc player, right?
If you thought the Sony BDP-S1 was expense ($999.99), Pioneer's BDP-HD1 will sell apparently for more than $1,800.