Surprised? I’m not. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that even though they will have their first Blu-ray high-density DVD titles ready to ship on May 23rd as planned, they will hold off on releasing them until June 25th. Why? Because Samsung has delayed the shipment of their first Blu-ray DVD player until then, and the retailers have asked that the releases be coordinated.
Sounds reasonable; it’s a little tough to sell a DVD if the customer doesn’t have anything to play it on. If these ship dates hold, it means that the “first to market” advantage enjoyed by Toshiba and HD-DVD will be short-lived; assuming adequate supply of both types of drives and movie titles, everyone will have forgotten who was first by about mid-August. On the other hand, Sony has delayed the Playstation 3 release, and I won’t expect the revised Samsung date to hold up until I see product on store shelves.
It also appears than neither the HD DVD or Blu-ray camps have to worry about shipping too many drives, as indications are that initial demand may be low. In a study by Peerflix, only 6% of 1,100 users surveyed indicated that they were very likely to buy a high-density DVD player this year. I would say that the other 94% are being prudent in letting others go first.