Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 3 will ship with a Blu-ray optical drive.
At this stage, it's not clear whether the console will feature a read-only unit or allow users to record video onto the blue-laser medium too. It's certainly tempting to view the PS3 as more of a successor to the poorly received PSX than the PS2 per se.
Sony said it had decided to incorporate a Blu-ray drive into the PS3 in order to allow users to view high-definition video content. Today, Blu-ray is incompatible with current DVD technology, and it remains to be seen whether Sony builds in a second drive for backward compatibility - not only for video, but PS2 games - or plans to use a dual-laser unit capable of handling both kinds of optical media.
The DVD Forum's preferred blue-laser system is HD-DVD, designed from the ground-up to be compatible with existing media and production lines. Like Blu-ray, it's being pitched at HDTV content.
By the time the PS3 ships, it is likely to support next-generation Blu-ray discs capable of holding 50GB of data, more than double today's 23GB discs. ®
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