For the price of a decent netbook PC, early adopters can get a step ahead of the pack if they want to splash out and pick up the world's first USB 3.0 Blu-ray burner.

The device in question is the, wait for it... BR-X1216U3 from Buffalo and it also happens to be the first USB BD drive to write at 12x speed as well.

In time for Christmas

Alas for those early adopters, the ¥39,100 (£275) external drive is available only in Japan, where it will hit the shops at the beginning of December.

Anyone without a USB 3.0 card in their computer – and that's everyone, basically – can still use it on a 2.0 connection, although only at 7x writing speed.

Not that it matters a great deal, as there still is no such thing as a Blu-ray disk that can be written to at 12x anyway. The fastest generally available now is typically 8x.