Sony announced today that the first Blu-Ray disc player, the Samsung BD-P1000, will be available May 23. Sony and Pioneer plan to debut their players soon after, and Sony plans to also release a Blu-Ray compatible Vaio PC.
Eight so-so movie titles are also to go on sale on May 23, including "50 First Dates" and "Hitch," with another eight due out June 13.
The industry is preparing for a sequel to the VHS-Betamax battle with Blu-Ray and the HD-DVD high-definition formats. Sony and most movie studios are throwing their weight behind Blu-Ray, and adding the technology to the upcoming PlayStation 3 video game console will certainly add to the momentum, while Microsoft and Intel are pushing HD-DVD. See this story for more on how this battle escalated last month at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Blu-Ray discs can hold about five times more data than a normal DVD.