Sony 4K Blu-ray player might not arrive until 2017

Sony Pictures will offer several of the first software titles arriving on 4K Blu-ray, but Sony Electronics may not have a physical 4K Blu-ray player until 2017.

Sony Pictures
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Sony Pictures

Sony says it will release a next-generation 4K Blu-ray player by March 2017 at the latest, as the company waits for compatible software.

Sunil Nayyar, Sony's director of US TV business, said the company plans to focus on a 4K streaming service before launching a physical 4K disc player. The statement first appeared in the trade publication TWICE.

Although Panasonic, Samsung and Philips each announced 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players at CES 2016, Sony instead only detailed a high-end 1080p player.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is the latest disc-based standard and includes features such as a 4K resolution (3,840x2,160 pixels), high dynamic range (HDR), and better color depth.

Like LG, Sony appears to be employing a "wait and see" attitude on the Blu-ray format as it is already seeing a lot of competition from 4K streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.

At CES Sony announced its own 4K streaming service with HDR support, named Ultra, which will feature Sony Pictures films. It will launch later in 2016.

Meanwhile in physical media, several studios announced new titles for 4K Blu-ray in 2016, with "The Martian" due to be one of the first to appear. It is available for preorder on Amazon for $30 and an expected release date of March 1.

Sony has committed to releasing a number of 4K Blu-ray disks in 2016 including "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," "Hancock," "Chappie," "The Smurfs 2" and "Pineapple Express."

Sony did not respond immediately to CNET's request for a comment.

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