I guess shipping mass production samples really doesn’t mean what is used to, because the Blu-ray Disc Association has just now confirmed it has completed the spec for its next generation media.
Certainly, this classifies as a “Things-you-thought-had-already-happened” story, but wrong you would be. The green light, however, does mean that the media can race off production lines at breakneck speeds. April is now the officially stated release date and when some partners – most notably Samsung – boast they will bring the next gen discs to market.
As Benny noted in his ubiquitous CES coverage, Microsoft has confirmed it will bring out an HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 which provides a PCP-like shot in the arm to its other-wise ailing rival. Whether it will be enough to see off Blu-ray on the other hand is another matter. And really, could Willy G’s boys have chosen to adopt the media of its biggest rival? I don’t think so.
The official confirmation of the Blu-ray spec also puts an end to rumours HD DVD had been spreading that Blu-ray was suffering from production difficulties. Given many thought the spec was already confirmed, this may’ve been true though clearly not any longer. HD DVD has also been running down Blu-ray’s larger storage capacity saying movie content is unlikely to be larger than 25GB, leaving plenty of storage space on its 30GB dual layer media and – in its opinion – a mass of wasted space on the 50GB Blu-ray discs.
This flaw in this logic, of course, is that the next gen media won’t just be used for multimedia but also as back-up and storage solutions and – with this in mind – an extra 20GB will come in extremely handy, thank you very much.
Within a few months of the PS3’s launch we should have a clear view of which format will win this latest (and seemingly unnecessary) war. Gates’ backing or not, I know where my money is going…