Pioneer shows off 400GB optical disc

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Pioneer has been working on its 400GB Blu-ray disc for a while so it is no surprise that it showed up at the IT Month Fair in Taipei. The key to the storage boost beyond the current Blu-ray 50GB limit is an increase in the number of layers to 16 on each side and most importantly they’ve managed to do this while retaining backwards compatibility with existing Blu-ray players.

Not only did the company showed off the format for the first time since it announcement back in July, they also produced a road map for its introduction to the market. According to Pioneer, read-only versions of these so-called super multi-layer optical discs will arrive before the end of 2010, with a rewritable version set for a release before the end of 2012. After that, we’ll see 1TB discs in 2013.

The implications of such massive storage capacities are very interesting to say the least. Essentially, if Pioneer can make good on its word, in the next two years developers could use that 400GB of space to include full high-def audio and video with no compression, publishers could release entire series of games or TV series on a single disc, and the PS3 long-term appeal could be enhanced as well.

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