Following our report yesterday on the new Samsung Blu-ray player being delayed until September, Samsung has released a statement saying that it has shipped the first Blu-ray Disc player to the US market.

The news will mean that while Americans will be able to get their hands on a Blu-ray player on the release date of the 25 June, Brits will have to wait a further 3 months to benefit from the next generation format from Sony.

"The emergence of Blu-ray is an enormous boon for HDTV owners, video enthusiasts, and for those who actively seek the best picture and sound possible in their home theater", said Jim Sanduski, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Samsung's Audio and Video Products Group.

The Samsung Blu-ray disc player (BD-P1000) will be the first of a host of new players by different manufacturers to support the new next generation format.

HD DVD the competing format from Toshiba has been available since April.

The BD-P1000 will be available in stores on 25 June 2006 at a MAP of $999.99.

The launch of the Samsung BD-P1000 coincides with a major influx of Blu-ray content. Seven of the eight major movie studios have already announced titles for Blu-ray, with the initial line-up of recent hits as well as classics, expected to grow to more than 200 titles by year end.

Most commentators believe that the biggest test to the formats popularity will be the introduction of Sony's PlayStation 3 console in November, which comes fitted with a Blu-ray drive as standard.

Sony and Pioneer have pushed back the release dates of their much-anticipated Blu-Ray players.