Blu-ray Assault to Begin; Samsung Proclaims 'Incredible' Pre-Sales

Posted Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 10:42 AM PDT by
Samsung Blu-Ray Player After months of speculation, excitement and street date delays, the Blu-ray format is set to launch over the next week amid a flurry of marketing hype for the format's first player and discs.

Samsung began shipping its first stand-alone Blu-ray disc player, the BD-P1000, to stores last week in anticipation for its on-sale street date of June 25. Sony will prime the pump for the player's debut by issuing its first seven Blu-ray disc titles tomorrow, June 20; Lionsgate will launch its support for Blu-ray with another six titles on June 27.

Samsung plans to have its player in over 2,000 storefronts nationwide, including such major chains as Best Buy and Circuit City. In conjunction with Sony, the companies will also provide demo players and discs to retailers to offer side-by-side comparisons with rival HD DVD in order to subjectively sell the format to potential consumers.

The electronics manufacturer also claims that interest in the BD-P1000 and Blu-ray so far has been strong. "Pre-orders have been incredible," Samsung spokesman Jose Cardona told Video Business.

Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said about 15,000 copies of each the company's first titles are being shipped to retailers that will also carry the player, including, Best Buy and Circuit City.

"It's really about where there is hardware," Feingold told Home Media Retailing.

However, fellow Blu-ray supporter Lionsgate is being more cautious; the company says it plays to ship less than 10,000 copies of each of its initial launch titles next week, with an eye on the fourth quarter to begin a more large-scale rollout.

"Obviously, the real story will unfold in the fourth quarter," said Lionsgate president Steve Beeks to HMR. "When there will not only be more machines delivered to the market, but many more titles showcasing the superior capabilities of Blu-ray technology."
Tags: Sony, Samsung, Hardware (all tags)