Sony has confirmed that its next-generation games console will use the Blu-ray disc format, a DVD-type disc designed to hold five times as much data a standard DVD.
Sony said the next-generation of the PlayStation home console will be equipped with Blu-Ray drives, allowing it to play back high-definition movies, as well as providing more space for game developers on the discs. Single-layer Blu-Ray discs can store up to 27Gb/s on one layer of data, compared to 4.7Gb/s on DVDs, although the version of the standard favored by Sony holds only 23Gb/s - still around five times larger than existing DVD discs.
The Blu-Ray specification also allows for the reading of current DVD discs, so the PS3 will be able to handle standard DVD movies and PS2 titles. Video playback units based on the new standard are expected to appear by the end of this fiscal year, which runs through to March 2005 - the same timescale in which Sony plans to unveil the PlayStation 3 in public for the first time.