Sony Corp. said on Wednesday it will launch a DVD recorder using Blu-ray technology by the end of the year in Japan, fortifying its lineup of high-definition optical disc products.

Sony, which promotes the Blu-ray format in competition with the HD DVD standard led by Toshiba Corp. , did not give details such as a launch date, price or overseas release dates.

The Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment conglomerate already offers a Blu-ray drive in its Vaio computers and will be selling Blu-ray players in the United States from around October.

It also plans to roll out its PlayStation 3 game console, which is equipped with a Blu-ray player, in November in Japan and North America.

A shift to the new generation of DVD discs and machines is expected to help boost sales at electronics makers and breathe new life into the slowing home video market.

But the failure of the two competing groups to agree on a unified format has paved the way for a costly battle reminiscent of the VHS-Betamax war of the 1980s that caused widespread customer confusion.

Shares of Sony closed up 1.2 percent at 4,940 yen, roughly in line with the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index