As expected, at CEATEC in Japan Sony has announced the launch of two new Blu-ray disc recorders for the Japanese market.

The “budget” version, the BDZ-V7, will go on sale on 19 December for ¥250,000 with a 250GB hard drive, while the top-of-the-range BDZ-V9 will set eager early Japanese adopters back ¥300,000 for a 500GB hard drive. The latter device will be the first to be available on 8 December.

Both models will be capable of recording two TV programs at once through their two digital and one analogue tuners, although the devices can only record to 25GB single-layer Blu-ray discs, and don’t support recording to 50GB BD-R/BD-RE discs.

Sony’s models will be available after Matsushita (Panasonic) launches its two Blu-ray disc recorders on 15 November in Japan. The models are similarly priced at ¥240,000 for a 200GB version, and ¥300,000 for a 500GB one.

There’s no word yet from any manufacturers when these Blu-ray recorders will be available in the rest of the world.

Sony must be hopingthat the launch will stave off some of the bad press it's received about exploding batteries and the oft-delayed PS3.