Delays in consumer electronics roll-outs are as inevitable as death and taxes. Microsoft pulled an "on-paper" release of the Xbox360 late last year and the next game console is still as scarce as a straight answer from a presidential press secretary. This had made it safe for its competitor Sony to announce a delay on the release of its PS3 to Q4 '06 instead of its initially optimistic release date of Q2 '06. Delays in the release of Blu-ray and HD DVD are nothing new. The big format was supposed to have been global by now, so far it's only really taken off in Japan where both formats have already been released. But it's still all quiet on the western front as we await the release of either format. Well, add a new delay to the release of Blu-ray.
It seems that Samsung is going to bugger up the plans of Sony to orchestrate a simultaneous release of media at the same day as the player. Sony Pictures was going to release several movies to Blu-ray on May 23rd, the same day as Samsung's BD-P1000 was to be released. But it looks like the Blu-ray movies will be looking rather lonely on the store shelves because Samsung has pulled out of the May23rd release date for the first player to be launched to North America. Samsung has announced that its BD-P1000 will instead be released on June 25th to give them an additional month to do more bug testing.
This comes close after Toshiba announced its delay of the release of the first ever HD DVD player in North America which is now set for mid April. Toshiba's HD DVD player will sell for $499 and Samsung's Blu-ray player will go for $999. Of course news of the release of both players is easily eclipsed by LG's announcement that it will try to release a unified player by the end of the year 2006, effectively making the format war useless.
Because here at the HTF blog I'll not only give you the news but also an opinion you can take as your own. It's easy … let the new disk players come to market and as a smart consumer you should wait and see what happens. Nobody needs to rush out and buy the first $1000 Blu-ray player on the market unless you're insecure and need "stuff" to make you seem cool to your friends. Here's a hint: Even after you demo the new Blu-ray player to your friends, they'll still think you're a weenie.
Why blow money now when a unified player is coming?
I am not one to favor boycotts. A call to boycott is usually a sniveling move from a position of desperation. But if I was to ever support a boycott it would be to boycott the whole next optical storage format until someone brings us a unified player. Teach that damned consumer electronics industry a lesson, that we consumers are smarter now and aren't going to buy into a pricey device that stands a chance of being obsolete in another few years. But I am not really calling for a boycott, buy what you want. The few of you who buy either device the first chance you get will be a minority and most of us will wait until the unified player (HD DVD / Blu-ray combo player) not only exists but is affordable.