Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), announced recently that it had begun preparations to adopt Blu-ray Disc ROM (BD-ROM) format as a medium for the next generation PlayStation, the successor system to PlayStation2 computer entertainment system.
Blu-ray Disc (BD) is a next generation high-density optical disc format that enables recording and playback of digital high-definition (HD) video signals and programs. BD-ROM format has a huge memory size of 54 GB (dual layer, single side), which is 6 times larger than that of DVD-ROM and has the potential of becoming an ideal medium to distribute next-generation entertainment content from movies and music to computer applications. Standardization of this format is currently underway lead by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).
MPEG2-TS, the signal compression technology used in Hi-Vision TV broadcasting, is also used in BD, making it possible to reproduce extremely high-resolution HD video images. With the introduction of the latest high-compression code/decode technology (MPEG4-AVC, VC-1), playback of high-quality video images from HD video signals becomes possible even in a low bit-rate environment. On the computer applications front, including video games, the importance of a medium with the capability of storing huge amount of data and programs is becoming greater than ever.
The adoption of DVD format in the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system played an important role in accelerating the fusion of music, movies and computer entertainment. The huge installed base of PlayStation 2 has also contributed to the expansion of DVD-Video. Likewise, through the adoption of BD-ROM for the next generation PlayStation, SCEI aims to take part in the development of a new market created by state-of-the-art technology.
Development of key devices, including a single optical pick-up that can read data from all three formats of CD, DVD and BD, is already on-going within the Sony Group. Research and development in optical disc technology with even larger storage capacity, as well as mass production technology, are also moving forward with high expectation.
With PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PSP (PlayStation Portable), SCEI will continue to expand the market and create a new world of computer entertainment.