Sony's pursuit to push the envelope of disc capacity has not stopped at just the Blu-ray disc, and this doesn't include the Sony store mailing you CDs in five to seven business days. Sony and Panasonic have joined forces to work on designing the next level of optical disc, which could hold, at minimum, 300GB of data. Even with streaming becoming a popular commodity in this age, many people still use high-capacity discs to archive their favorite moments, documents and other important materials. Along with that, several areas in this country, and other countries as a whole, have capped or limited bandwidth and speeds, which could hamper a user's streaming experience.
In their press release this week, the two companies said they look forward to launching this no later than holiday season of 2015.
Optical discs have excellent properties to protect them against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content. Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray Disk format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs. However, both Sony and Panasonic recognized that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market, and responded by formulating this agreement.
Interestingly, the two companies have done separate work on developing future disc tech. Panasonic has recently created a system which can read many 100GB optical discs all at once and Sony has already changed the quality of home movies with the introduction of their Blu-ray disc and player several years ago.
Sony and Panasonic both cited that this next solution may not necessarily be for consumers, but rather for businesses and professionals. Video production companies and data centers could benefit from larger disc capacities, as transferring insanely large amounts of data over the Internet may not always be a viable option.