Sony has a announced that its forthcoming PlayStation3 console will include a Blue-ray drive DVD drive. Blue-ray is a higher density DVD technology, and will be able to store around 50gb of data by the console’s release at the end of 2005.
The inclusion of the Blue-ray drive is sure to guarantee mass market acceptance for the format, in the face of competition from other high density DVD technologies. Sony are particularly keen to see the format flourish as it is one of the founders of the Blu-ray group and has invested heavily in the technology. The main competitor, HD-DVD, has recently received a boost from Microsoft when they announced that their next version of Windows, codenamed Longhorn, would support it.
Blue light optical disks can store more data on them because the wavelength of blue coherent light is shorter, and therefore can read smaller pits, which are also packed closer together.
As Blu-ray is not currently compatible with standard DVD technology, this means that the drive will not be able to play standard red laser DVDs, or run Playstation2 software. It remains to be seen if Sony will be using a special dual-format drive, of taking the expensive step of including two drives in the console.