50GB Blu-ray not cutting it? Sony, Panasonic developing a 300GB disc

Discs don't get dissed

Sony and Panasonic are teaming up to develop next-gen optical discs, taking old-fashioned Blu-ray to the next level.

The plan is to use both firms' respective tech to create a disc with storage of at least 300GB by 2015. Dual-layer Blu-ray can only store up to a 50GB, though Sony's storage support page notes Blu-ray technology has the possibility of reaching 200GB.

Though each has worked on high-capacity, disk-based storage solutions in the past, the firms are focused on creating a new standard for compacts.

While discs may seem passé to some, the companies said in a press release that the lasting qualities of physical discs - dust and water resistance, temperature and humidity resilience - and inter-generational compatibility across formats "make them a robust medium for long-term storage of content."

According to the release, Sony and Panasonic anticipate users will task optical disks with higher volumes of storage in the coming years, driven by the "expected future growth in the archive market."

Don't start playing Frisbee just yet

Even with more storage and content providers shifting to the cloud, the dynamic disc duo clearly sees a future in the physical.

The 300GB product will be aimed at professionals, but it's easy to image the tech trickling down to consumers. As more of us are recording content in increasing resolutions, having a hard copy solution that can keep our memories safe and stored would be welcome.

And though the companies refrain from mentioning 4K, Sony has been on the forefront of the UHD push, offering not only TVs but also 4K media players and projectors. Having discs capable of storing space-eating content is certainly in its best interest, too.

Maybe Pan & Son (the companies' new sitcom-inspired name) should get in touch with Pioneer? It's been five years since it outed a 400GB Blu-ray disc, but it must have its notes lying around somewhere, right?


Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.