Sony officials will use Blu-ray Disc
technology in their next-generation console, most commonly referred to
as the PlayStation 3.
Sony revealed its decision at a press conference in Tokyo this week held by the Blu-ray Disc Founders,
an organization committed to developing and standardizing the
next-generation optical disc format, the Kyodo News reported. The BDF
also used the occasion to announce that it will finalize the
specifications for the read-only version of Blu-ray Discs, or BD-ROMs,
by Sept. 30.
Sony has been investing heavily in Blu-ray
product development and was the first company to have a disc recorder
on the market. Sony had previously hinted it might use the format in
the PS3. Kiyoshi Nishitani, Sony's Blu-ray Disc R&D division chief,
commented in an interview with Asahi PC magazine in March that the
company would like to establish ground in the Blu-ray Disc market by
adopting BD-ROMs for its "home video game console."
The Blu-ray Disc Founders organization is made up of Sony, Panasonic
and 11 other major electronics makers. Like its predecessor, the DVD,
the BD-ROM will primarily be used for movies. The companies plan to
start marketing Blu-ray Disc playback machines (without recording
capabilities) by the end of the fiscal year.
Sony is relying heavily on the Blu-ray Disc format, so from the
company's point of view, the use of Blu-ray as the market standard in
next-generation media is vital, especially since Sony also publishes
movies through its Sony Pictures subsidiary. Adopting the Blu-ray Disc
for the PS3 should help spread use of the format, similar to what the
PlayStation 2 did for DVDs.
Early expansion of the Blu-ray format would be ideal for Sony,
considering it will have to compete with high-definition DVDs in the
future. Blu-ray Discs can hold 25GB on a single layer and 50GB on the
dual-layer discs, while HD DVD discs--which have yet to be released--will hold only 30GB on a dual-layered disc.
Sony said it will reveal more details on the PlayStation 3 at a
premiere event in Japan on March 31, 2005. The console will also be on
display at next year's E3 confab in Los Angeles.
Hirohiko Niizumi writes for Gamespot.