Reports in Taiwan are suggesting that the BD-ROM format will ascend into the mainstream during 2008. Digitimes says BD-ROM will be helped along by even more manufacturers getting on board with the plain-and-simple drives.

It even goes so far as to suggest BD-ROM could be the most popular drive sold this year. Note that’s BD-ROM, not BD-R or BD-RW – so readers only.

After all, BD drive prices are falling dramatically, largely down to the fact that the laser power needed is a lot less in a reader than a writer.

BD support increases

Digitimes picks the Sony BDU-X10S out for special mention. The drive gives 2x playback of Blu-ray discs plus 8x playback of DVD-ROM and 24x for CD-ROMs according to the site. It believes it could go on sale this month for $230 (£115).

Other manufacturers such as Pioneer are expected to extend BD support over the coming months as the effect of the end of the format war kicks in. Panasonic had several drives on display at CES in January too. And lower production costs are finally coming into view.

On 26 February Digitimes quoted prices of $120 (£60) for OEM drives shipping later this year. Blu-ray could finally be truly affordable.