Kutaragi confirms end to Blu-Ray negotiations

No Sony/Toshiba agreement.

Just weeks after announcing there was "little chance" of reaching an agreement on the issue of a unified next-gen disc format, SCE president Ken Kutaragi has confirmed that negotiations are at an end.

Speaking to Nikkei Electronics, Kutaragi said that it was "game over" for talks between Sony, which supports the Blu-Ray format, and HD-DVD supporter Toshiba.

Negotiations began back in February, but the two companies failed to reach an agreement on storage capacities. Blu-Ray discs can hold 50GB of data while HD-DVD discs only hold 30GB, but the HD-DVD camp argues that lower manufacturing costs make for a cheaper, more consumer-friendly product.

Earlier this month Kutaragi said the negotiations were troubled after Toshiba refused to accept Blu-Ray as the basis for a unified format. It now seems inevitable that both formats will hit the market when the next generation of DVD players rolls out at the end of the year, despite Sony's efforts to avoid another format war of the VHS vs. Betamax kind.

Kutaragi went on to discuss Sony's Cell networked processor, which will be used in the PlayStation 3 along with a range of other consumer electronics devices such as "smart TVs".

He told Nikkei Electronics that the microprocessor features eight synergistic processor elements or SPEs because the number eight is an "exponential aesthetic". However, only seven of these will be used as this is "the ultimate aesthetic" with regards to engineering - as announced by Sony at this year's E3, leaving one SPE unused should improve chip yield and slash production costs.

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