Retail movie releases on dual layer 50GB Blu-ray discs will become a reality in 2006, according to Sony Pictures President Ben Feingold, quoted by VideoBusiness as stating that the studio will release at least two movies on the discs by the end of this year. He didn't specify any additional features, titles, prices or advanced codec support yet, but while another executive confirmed more Blu-ray features would be coming, we shouldn't expect to see discs using Blu-ray Java (BD-J) technology until January. They also commented on the criticism of the quality of some Blu-ray releases, noting that newer movies and more recent releases have received better reviews, while also putting some blame on the decisions of filmmakers and the monitors used during the mastering process. Movie houses are also waiting for more players (read: PS3) to hit the ground to be able to test compatibility before they start including highly interactive features. At least so far, HD DVD has been able to take advantage of their lead time on the movie side with (currently) larger discs, more efficient compression and some interesting bonus features. The real Blu-ray launch is coming this winter as several new players will be greeted by these much improved discs, we'll see how the format war stacks up then.

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Sony Pictures: At least two 50GB Blu-ray releases by year-end, no BD-J until 2007