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Sony's Blu-Ray player slips again - to late October

The first Blu-Ray player from Sony, the BDP-S1, has been pushed back to an October 25th release date - meaning that the firm's consumer Blu-Ray product line will not appear until only weeks before the arrival of the PlayStation 3.

The first Blu-Ray player from Sony, the BDP-S1, has been pushed back to an October 25th release date - meaning that the firm's consumer Blu-Ray product line will not appear until only weeks before the arrival of the PlayStation 3.

The BDP-S1 had most recently been scheduled for a mid-August launch date, and the new delay of over two months puts the release of the player curiously close to the PlayStation 3 - which will be appearing only weeks later in mid-November.

It had been assumed that Sony and its partners would want to launch Blu-Ray players and content into the market well ahead of the arrival of PS3, in order to ensure that the standard was understood by consumers by the time the expensive next-gen console appeared.

However, with the ongoing delays to the BDP-S1, it now appears that the PlayStation 3 is set to be a very early standard bearer for the high definition Blu-Ray discs - which may reflect simply a failure by Sony to get its hardware manufacturing timescales right, but equally could represent a change of strategy on the part of the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

The BDP-S1 is due to launch at a price point of $999.95 in North America, significantly more expensive than the PlayStation 3, which also offers Blu-Ray playback alongside its capabilities as a videogame console.

Toshiba's rival HD-DVD standard, meanwhile, is currently staggering onto the market - but so far the consumer response to both next-gen DVD systems seems largely apathetic, and it remains to be seen whether there is anything remotely compelling in the content line-up for either standard come Christmas.

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Rob Fahey avatar
Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.