BERLIN, Germany On a press conference in the run-up to IFA consumer electronics exhibition, the Blu-ray disc association gave an overview of the present state of the technology and the vendor's roadmaps.
Gamers can breath a sigh of relief: While at last week's Games Convention meeting in Leipzig, Germany Sony only showed mock-ups of its Playstation 3 game console, the market introduction of the console is on track, affirmed Nick Sharples, spokesperson of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. On November 17th, the device will come to the shops, he said. Two versions will be available, one with a 20-GByte harddisk; the other one will be equipped with a 60-GByte disk.
The cell processor powered device will communicate via Gigabit Ethernet or Wifi; in addition Sony developed a wireless, motion-sensitive 6-axis game controller for the box. And of course the device also will contain a Blue-ray disk player for the 27 game titles that are supposed to be available at the launch of the box.
Sony hopes to sell 4 million units before year-end 2006. Until end of 1Q 2007 the company intends to sell 6 million units worldwide, of which 2 millions will be sold in Europe.
Also several major Hollywood studios announced or reinforced plans to support the Blu-ray technology. Along with the PS3 sales start, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will launch internationally a selection of about a dozen movie titles. Paramount Home Entertainment International will offer the movie 'Mission Impossible III' and a Mission Impossible Trilogy set. 20th century fox announced what it called the Studio's first wave of motion pictures for Blu-ray. Among the eight Fox titles announced will be 'Fantastic Four', 'Kingdom of Heaven', and 'Speed'. Warner Brothers will release about ten titles, including 'Firewall' and Stanley Kubrick's 'Full Metal Jacket'.
Also, media for the technology will be more and more available. TDK sid it started shipping of 50-GByte Blu-ray recordable and rewritable disks. Also, the company announced that it has developed a disk based on the Blu-ray technology with a capacity of 200 GByte on six layers, enough for 18 hours of High-definition video. However, the company did not say when this storage medium will be available for users.