New York (NY) - Sony confirmed that it will be shipping its first Blu-ray burner "on or around" 18 August. The model BWU-100A will sell as an internal drive for $750.
According to Sony, the device is capable of writing and reading data to and from BD-R (write once) or BD-RE (rewritable) discs. Users can also use the BD drive to store HD video, for example videos taken with one of the firm's camcorders, on 25 and 50 GB discs: In that case, the writer will keep the format in the "native HDV 1080i" (1920x1080 interlaced) and enable playback of the discs on family room Blu-ray players.
Sony said that its BD drive also supports recording of standard single layer 4.7 GB DVD+/-R/+/-RW/RAM discs, 8.5 GB DVD+R Double/Dual Layer Discs, as well as CDs. The BWU-100A comes bundled with the CyberLink's BD Solution, which allows users capture, author, edit and burn high-definition content.
Being an early adopter never has been cheap, so the steep $750 price tag should not surprise. On a positive note, the price of the drive is about $250 below what had been forecasted earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Meanwhile, Sony's $1000 family room Blu-ray player, BDP-S1, appears to have been hit by yet another delay. Sony's direct sales website currently states that the device is "targeted" for availability "on or about" 25 October.