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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Blu-ray Camp to Offer 75 Software Titles in Japan

Movie and music providers supporting the Blu-ray high-definition optical disc standard said on Tuesday they would offer an initial batch of 75 software titles in Japan, in an effort to woo customers in a format battle for next generation DVD technologies.

The new titles, many of which are set to hit stores by the year-end shopping season, include "The Da Vinci Code" from Sony and "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" from Walt Disney Co..

While Blu-ray has drawn more support among Hollywood and electronics firms, HD DVD has garnered allies among U.S. computer industry titans Microsoft and Intel Corp..

Each side is keen to offer a wide range of attractive software titles to grab potential buyers' attention.

"High-definition TV broadcasting is catching on quickly in Japan. After experiencing high quality pictures and sound, people's desire to enjoy even finer visual products is getting stronger by the day," Sony Senior Vice President Kiyoshi Nishitani told a news conference.

In March, Toshiba started rolling out its HD DVD players, becoming the first company to offer next-generation optical disc players, while Samsung introduced the first Blu-ray player in June.

Sony plans to release Blu-ray players in the United States around October, but a launch timeframe for Japan has yet to be decided, Nishitani said.

The Tokyo-based company has already launched the Vaio personal computer with a Blu-ray drive. It also plans to roll out its PlayStation 3 game console, which is equipped with a Blu-ray disc drive, in November.

Sony has high hopes that the latest version of its blockbuster game console will give the Blu-ray camp a competitive edge in the format battle.

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