The blogosphere has been buzzing with news about Sony’s Blu-ray woes. According to the standard line, Sony has encountered enough problems manufacturing its first Blu-Ray player (the BDP-S1) that the company has had to bump the ship date back several times, first into August and now to late October. Commentators refer to a “string of delays” and paint Sony as a company that just can’t get its act together.
But is this true? To find out, we went directly to the source. A spokesperson for Sony explained the situation, saying that there had been some confusion about the number of delays plaguing the BDP-S1. We’re told that July was the original ship date for the player, but that this was always meant to be the date that the units were shipped to retailers. They were not scheduled to be available to consumers until August.
It’s common knowledge by now that the player has been delayed until late October, but Sony insists that this has been the only delay in the process. Furthermore, don’t put too much stock in the October 25 date posted on the Sony Style site; the company tells us that the online store requires a specific date (and so October 25 was chosen), but that no offical launch date has yet been settled upon. We’re simply told to expect the player in late October.
And the reason? There’s been speculation that Sony has run out of manufacturing capacity as it tries to produce drives both for the BDP-S1 and the Playstation 3. The company tells us that the delay is actually caused by a “product software issue,” and once that is resolved, everything will be go for launch.
Regardless of how many delays have actually plagued the product launch, it’s a fact that Sony, one of Blu-ray’s biggest backers, will be beaten to market by Samsung, which should have its player in stores next week. By the time that Sony’s unit ships in the fall for US$1000, we’ll also be nearing the launch date for the Playstation 3. Given that the PS3 is both cheaper and has a Blu-ray drive of its own, Sony can’t actually expect to move too many BDP-S1s.