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PlayStation 3 will use Blu-Ray discs - confirmed

Storage tech to enter consumer space via PS3.

Sony Computer Entertainment has officially confirmed that the PlayStation 3 will use the Blu-Ray disc technology, an evolution of the DVD format which provides six times more storage space than conventional DVD discs.

Confirming reports which have been floating around for months, Sony officially announced its intention to build Blu-Ray into the next generation PlayStation in a statement this week.

Blu-Ray, as the name suggests, uses blue laser light to read discs, rather than the current red lasers, and achieves its higher data storage volumes because blue light has smaller wavelength than red light, and can therefore read smaller data points more accurately.

A single-sided, dual layer Blu-Ray (BD-ROM) disc can hold 54Gb of data, compared with just over 9Gb on a standard DVD-ROM, and the use of up-to-date video compression standards on BD-ROM discs allows the playback of high definition encoded video.

Sony is hoping that by including a BD-ROM drive in the PlayStation 3, it will repeat the same success that it enjoyed in the early life of the PlayStation 2 - when many people saw the console as a good way to adopt the DVD format for the first time.

The company's engineers are currently working on an optical head that will be able to read from all three disc formats - CD, DVD and BD - for inclusion in the PS3.

Interestingly, Sony still refuses to use the name PlayStation 3 in any of its literature about the forthcoming console - instead persistently referring to the system as "the next generation PlayStation," in a move which is sure to provoke speculation about a possible move away from the sequential number naming scheme.

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