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Newly desirable PS3 plays cheap Blu-ray disks

BD-R LTH disks are currently available only in Japan

A little-documented by-product of the latest PlayStation 3 firmware update could give Blu-ray an unexpected boost that it probably didn’t need anyway.

According to games website SPOnG, firmware 2.20 now allows the PS3 to play BD-R LTH disks, which are both cheaper to buy and to manufacture. The upshot could well be a shot in the arm for the entire Blu-ray market thanks to a lower cost of ownership overall.

Same plants, different disks

In case you’re wondering – and, frankly, we were too – BD-R LTH disks (the LTH stands for Low To High) use organic dye in their recording layers, a trick that means existing DVD plants can churn out the disks with only minimal adjustments.

BD-R LTH disks are currently available only in Japan, where they sell for about half the price of BD-Rs of the same capacity.