Blu-ray is making an impression.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment today announced an increase in total Blu-ray Disc sales across six emerging markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Eastern Europe, South Africa and the Middle East -- illuminating the positive reception from retailers and consumers for the new high-definition format since its launch just four months ago in April 2007.

Since April, Blu-ray Disc sales have accounted for 10% of SPHE's business in the regions. The company saw a 21% increase in BD orders across the month of June alone. "It is extremely positive to see an increase in volume of BD software sales in these markets where piracy has previously ravaged the DVD business," said T. Paul Miller, Senior Vice President, International, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

SPHE is the only studio to have licensed high-definition Blu-ray Disc content for local distribution in many of these markets and new partners are coming on line every month. "This news underscores not only the demand for premium content in these markets, but also the need for a home entertainment format with an impenetrable content protection system like Blu-ray's," added Matt Brown, Executive Vice President, International, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Among top-selling BD titles from SPHE in these regions are Casino Royale, Ghost Rider, Open Season, Kung Fu Hustle, Black Hawk Down, xXx and Stealth. South Africa accounts for the largest share of Blu-ray Disc sales, with more than 15,000 units shipped to date.