March 16, 2006 3:22 PM PST
Sony unveils Blu-ray player, Vaio PC
The company unveiled on Thursday the BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc Player, a Vaio RC desktop with a recordable Blu-ray drive, and an internal Blu-ray disc drive for PCs. Sony expects the player to be available in July, while the desktop and an undisclosed Vaio Blu-ray notebook PC should ship by "early summer," the company said in a statement.
Blu-ray discs can store much more data than conventional DVD media and are designed to accommodate high-definition content. But the Blu-ray standard is competing with a rival standard called HD DVD to become the accepted format for high-definition recording. The format war has threatened to frustrate consumers just like the VHS-Betamax battle 25 years ago.
Sony's Blu-ray momentum has slipped a bit over the past few weeks. The launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 will be delayed until November because of problems finalizing the standard, the company announced this week. And Toshiba said at the CeBit technology exposition that it will have an HD DVD laptop and player out before Sony's Vaio and BDP player are scheduled to appear.
The BDP-S1 player will cost about $1,000 when it is released, Sony said. The Vaio desktop will cost about $2,300, but Sony will toss in a $25 Blank BD-RE (rewritable) disc with 25GB of storage for free. Pricing for the BWU-100A internal PC drive will be released later this year.
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