Sony delays DVD release until US spring

Sony is holding back the release of its DVD players until next year because of concerns over availability of software and unresolved copyright issues.

Sony has decided to delay the release its digital video disk (DVD) players until next US spring, a company official says.

Among the reasons given for the delay are unresolved copyright protection issues, doubts about whether sufficient software titles will be available to play on the machines and concerns about compatibility with other competitors' players. "We need to ensure ... that DVD will play on any manufacturer's machine in the world and that DVD machines will play audio CDs that you buy in a store -- both of which were part of our original promise," says Rick Clancy, a spokesman for Sony in Parkridge, New Jersey.

There are also unresolved issues surrounding the release of patents for the DVD technology, Clancy says. Sony and Philips announced last month they would release all their DVD patents, something industry law requires before they can launch their DVD products. However, "other companies are still trying to resolve their patent concerns," Clancy says.

Sony, which along with Philips is one of the biggest players in the development of DVD technology, had hoped to resolve the outstanding issues in time for a Christmas release, but Clancy asserts that Sony has never committed itself to launch its players this year. "We always said we would wait until there are adequate software titles for our players," he says.

Sony, based in Tokyo, can be reached on the World Wide Web at

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