With the PS3 featuring expensive technologies like the cell processor and Blu-ray, Sony is expected to lose money on each console sold. How much exactly? According to an article at BusinessWeek, the company's game devision is expected to lose almost $872 million this fiscal year alone.
The results for Sony's game division during the current fiscal year will not be good however, as the company ramps up investments for the PlayStation 3, which launches worldwide this November. Sony expects the segment to hemorrhage 100 billion yen ($871.6 million) in operating losses during the business year as it prepares the PS3 for launch.

That said, in the future Sony believes it can cut down on PS3 related costs quite a bit. "We believe that we can lower costs dramatically (on the PS3) through chip shrinkage and by cutting the number of parts but there is no way to avoid high costs in the first year," Sony Senior Vice President Takao Yuhara told a Tokyo news conference, according to Reuters.
Knowing Sony, the company won't have any problem making this money back, especially if the PS3 is as popular as their previous consoles. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
The Japanese website, Tech-On!, has reported that TDK is developing 200GB Blu-ray disc media. According to the article, these 200GB discs contain six layers, with each layer capable of storing 33GB.
TDK Corp. has prototyped a recordable Blu-ray Disc medium with its capacity increased to 200 GB by stacking six recording layers. The new medium boasts the capacity approximately eight times that of the existing single-layer Blu-ray Disc medium.

TDK prototyped a 100 GB recordable medium having four 25 GB recording layers stacked on one another in 2003. This time, the company employed a different signal processing scheme to increase the capacity per layer to 33.3 GB, while increasing the number of the recording layers to six through the adoption of a novel recording material.
I have to give TDK credit. They're really pushing the limits of Blu-ray technology. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Moser Baer released its fourth quarter and fiscal year results yesterday. As part of their yearly report, the company has announced plans to expand production and launch a series of next generation formats.
The race is on to successfully develop and commercialize the next generation format in the industry, namely the Blue Disk (BD) or the HDDVD. An early mover advantage in the next generation formats is a critical success factor as CDR/RW segment starts to mature.

Over the past three years, the company has invested significantly in its R&D programs targeted at developing the next generation formats in optical media space by leveraging its core skills in base material engineering, thin film coating, precision sputtering and deep UV mastering technologies. Starting from 1QFY07, the company plans to launch a series of next generation formats, in conjugation with drive and recorder availability, and expects to be first to market in a majority of these formats. The four products which we believe will have a significant market potential in the future are DVDR Dual Layer, HDDVD-R (recordable) and RE (re-writable), HDDVD Dual layer, and BD-R and RE.
Moser Baer is also collaborating with other companies to develop Holographic discs with capacities up to 200GB and beyond. If you'd like to read more, their entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
A U.S. company called Blue Ray Technologies has announced that they're patenting a new process to manufacture Blu-ray discs. According to their press release, this new process reduces the reject rate, making Blu-ray discs more affordable.
U.S. high-definition DVD disc company Blue Ray Technologies announces it has solved the production problems reportedly hampering the major overseas plants to make the imminent release of HD movies on Blu-ray discs both affordable and locally-made.

In a David vs. Goliath situation, independent Blue Ray Technologies is in the final patent stages for key manufacturing processes related to the layering process of Hi-def Blu-ray movies and games that may be hampering the majors. The company is thereby lowering its prices for studios that want their movies made with the indie firm.

"We are finalizing the patents that will revolutionize the manufacturing process," said company CEO and founder Erick Hansen. "We are hopefully going to beat the big companies in the world. That's because they presently have such a high reject rate. It is said to be as high as 75 percent rejects while ours are lower than 20 percent."
This is good news for the Blu-ray camp as high disc production costs have dogged the format since day one. If you'd like to read more, the entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
DigiTimes has reported that Lite-On will start shipping FVD (forward versatile disc) drives to an unnamed US based distributor in June.
Lite-On IT has landed PC-use FVD (forward versatile disc) orders from a leading US-based distributor with shipment slated to start in June, said Derray Huang, deputy general director of the Opto-electronics and Systems Laboratories (OES) at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

FVD is a red-laser high-definition DVD format developed by Taiwan as an alternative to blue laser HD DVD and Blu-ray disc (BD) high-definition DVD formats.
It will be interesting to see if FVD can compete with HD DVD and Blu-ray. Considering how expensive these technologies are, I would not be surprised if FVD was able to grab a small market share. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
Nero has announced that they've added support for Blu-ray data recording to Nero 7. According to their press release, the suite also includes new and updated applications like Nero Search and Nero Home.
Nero, leaders in digital media technology, unveil today the newest and most powerful version of the Nero 7 software suite to-date. An all-in-one solution for the management of data, audio, video, photo and TV content, Nero 7 is a comprehensive tool for today's digital home. Nero 7 now enables Blu-ray data recording and adds many new and updated applications such as Nero Search and Nero Home to empower users even more than before. Current Nero 7 customers will be able to receive a free online update at www.nero.com.

"Nero 7 supports the digital lifestyle with a very powerful suite of applications," said Jim Corbett, Executive Director, Nero AG. "From the new Blu-ray recording capability to the convenience of Nero Search, Nero 7's features and performance makes it an unbeatable solution for just about anything you would want to do within the networked home."

Nero Burning ROM and Nero Express enable Blu-ray data recording that is readable on every operating system (Windows 98 SE/Me, Windows 2000, XP and Vista), multi-session writing on BD-R/RE media and the creation of 1:1 copies of any unprotected BD media.
While its great that Nero continues to include new features, they really need to fix up some of the existing bugs. As it is, people are already reporting issues with the latest version. Anyway, if you'd like to read more, Nero's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth look at Lite-On's new "Super AllWrite" drive, the SHM-165H6S. Sporting some pretty impressive specs, the SHM-165H6S is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. The drive also has many of the features we've come to expect from Lite-On, along with new ones like HyperTuning and OverSpeed. To top it all off, the SHM-165H6S includes support for HP's LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling system.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the SHM-165H6S and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does the SHM-165H6S have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

Lite-On SHM-165H6S Super AllWrite 16x DVD±RW
As usual, if you have any comments or questions about this review or the Lite-On SHM-165H6S, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below. Add a comment
Warner Home Video has announced that they will be releasing their first title in the HD DVD and DVD Combo format on May 9th. This first title, "Rumor Has It," will have HD DVD content on one side and standard definition DVD on the other.
Warner Home Video (WHV) has announced the release of the first title in the HD DVD and DVD Combo Format (HD DVD on one side and Standard Definition DVD on the other): "Rumor Has It," which will debut May 9, day-and-date with its Standard Definition version. In addition, WHV will release three new HD DVD titles: "GoodFellas" and "Swordfish" on May 2 and "Training Day" on May 9.

"We are pleased to be continuing our rollout of new HD DVD titles," said Stephen Nickerson, Senior Vice President, Market Management. "But what is really exciting is the release of the first title, `Rumor Has It,' in the HD DVD and DVD Combo format. Purchasing a disc now in this format is the ideal choice that gives consumers the greatest flexibility in viewing options: If they own an HD DVD player, of course, they'll get all the benefits of HD DVD and be able to play the disc in existing DVD players. If they're considering a future purchase of an HD DVD player, they can still enjoy the movie until they upgrade."
The only real downside I see here is price. "Rumor Has It" has a suggested retail price of $39.99 which is about $5-10 more than a normal HD DVD title. If you'd like to read more, the entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Here's an interesting bit of news. According to an article at the iPod Hub, anonymous film industry insiders have said that Apple is asking studios to include iPod video content on Blu-ray discs.
Though movies on Blu-ray discs are expected to start shipping next month and a large screen iPod is still probably months away, Apple wants to make sure that when their next-generation iPod is released it will have a sufficient library of playable content already available for customers to watch.

And Apple could be in a strong position to make their wish a reality. Already in the Blu-ray camp are Sony, who Apple have been working with closely of late with regard to its HD cameras; and Disney, who have been close partners of Steve Jobs' Pixar.
With 50GB of space available on a dual layer Blu-ray disc, there should be plenty of room to include a copy of the movie in an iPod compatible format. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Earlier this week, Rimage and TDK announced the industry's first thermal printable Blu-ray disc. Here's part of their press release:
Rimage Corporation (Nasdaq:RIMG - News), the world leader in disc publishing, and TDK, a world leader in digital recording solutions, today announced the release of the industry's first thermal printable Blu-ray disc. The discs are on display at TDK booth #C10741 and Rimage booth #SL1843 at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, which is taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 24-27, 2006.

By combining Rimage's innovative direct-to-disc print technology with thermal printable Blu-ray discs from TDK, the two companies have created a powerful information storage medium that can hold up to 25 GB of critical data. Rimage's Everest(TM) thermal retransfer technology enables users to create permanent, colorful, high-resolution prints bonded directly to the surface of a CD or DVD. The resulting print is professional looking and virtually indestructible -- impervious to water, scratches and dirt.
No word on pricing or availability. If you'd like to read more, the entire press release can be found here. Add a comment