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Pioneer to Launch Blu-Ray Recorders in 2008

Japanese consumer electronics maker Pioneer said on Tuesday it plans to launch Blu-ray DVD recorders by the end of the year, taking aim at a rapidly growing market after the end of a bitter format battle.

Sony Blu-ray Disc
AP
Sony Blu-ray Disc

Pioneer is developing Blu-ray recorders with help from Sharp, Pioneer's top shareholder with a 14 percent stake. Sharp already offers Blu-ray recorders.

Pioneer plans to start selling Blu-ray recorders in Japan before the year-end shopping season, followed by overseas launches.

The selling price and unit sales target have yet to be set, a Pioneer spokesman said.

Blu-ray recorder demand in Japan is likely to jump 18 fold to 3.6 million units by 2012, according to Fuji Chimera Research Institute.

Japan was at the heart of an optical-disc format war that pitted Blu-ray discs championed by Sony against Toshiba's HD-DVD discs, until movie studios lined up behind Blu-ray and its rival format bit the dust in February.

Shares in Pioneer were down 2.4 percent at 842 yen, underperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index IELEC, which fell 1.4 percent.