Sony, Panasonic Announce Blu-ray Successor

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Though cloud storage has become the preferred data storage and backup method for many consumers, the speed and convenience of a physical disc is still sometimes necessary. In that respect the Blu-ray format has been moderately successful as a storage format.

Last summer Sony and Panasonic announced an agreement to jointly develop a new optical disc technology. This week those companies officially announced a next-generation Blu-ray successor disc-based storage technology. Called the "Archival Disc," the technology would pack a full 300GB on to one DVD-sized disc.

The projected launch for the format is sometime during summer 2015. The companies will initially be aiming to sell the storage format for the long-term digital storage market. In addition, Sony and Panasonic have agreed to continue development on the Archival Disc with an eye toward eventually increasing capacity to 500GB, then 1TB.

As the companies behind Blu-ray, Sony and Panasonic are well-positioned to make Archival Disc technology the follow-up to previous-generation consumer disc formats. Though Blu-ray was able to successfully defeat HD DVDs in a format war nearly a decade ago, the technology has since faced slower adoption that normal DVDs. As Blu-ray players and HDTVs have become more ubiquitous Blu-ray discs have found a significant place in the consumer market, particularly for disc-based video games.

The advent of Ultra HD video and displays means that consumers may soon need larger-format discs that can hold higher-quality video. At the same time, however, internet companies such as Netflix and YouTube are already experimenting with providing consumers a streaming Ultra HD experience that could cut the consumer market for Archival Disc before it arrives next summer.

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