After years of waiting and hundreds of Engadget posts, the much-anticipated but seemingly just-out-of-reach high definition optical disc technology known as Blu-ray has finally, at long last, been given an official launch date by Sony. Early-adopters, you have just under three months to lie, cheat, and steal your way to getting off on Tuesday, May 23, because that's when you'll need to be on a 12-hour line at Best Buy to get your anxious little mitts on a Samsung BD-P1000 and eight critically acclaimed launch titles such as "Resident Evil Apocalypse," "XXX," and "A Knight's Tale"- with another eight classics like "Species" and "SWAT" to follow on June 13th. Also available soon after launch will be more Blu-ray hardware, including Pioneer's BDP-HD1, Sony's BDP-S1, and several BD-equipped Vaio PCs, also from Sony. As we'd heard before, the Samsung player will retail for around a grand, and Sony will be charging $23.45 for new flicks and $17.95 for catalog titles.

[Via Zatz Not Funny]

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Blu-Ray hardware, titles to hit stores May 23rd