NEC Corp and Sony Corp plan to start releasing internal PC drives supporting next-generation DVD standards in the latter half of 2005, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Sunday.
Their plans will likely make the battle over the next-generation DVD standard spill onto internal DVD drives for PCs, which are expected to take up a large part of the market for next-generation DVD hardware.
NEC supports the HD-DVD standard with Toshiba Corp and others. Sony backs the Blu-ray Disc standard with a group of companies that includes Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd.
NEC is working toward starting commercial production of an internal, read-only HD-DVD drive for desktop PCs around next summer. The company plans to eventually release a read-and-write-capable product that is thin enough to be installed in notebook PCs.
Sony has begun developing an internal Blu-ray Disc recorder drive for PCs, with the goal of releasing it in the latter half of 2005. The company plans to give an additional boost to Blu-ray Disc by making the successor to its PlayStation 2 home video game console compatible with the standard.
Developing drives that are thin enough to be installed in PCs is a major challenge for manufacturers. The HD-DVD camp has been seen as having an advantage because of the disc's specifications, but Sony is confident that it will be able to develop internal Blu-ray Disc drives that are thin enough for notebook PCs.
OEM internal DVD drives for PCs are currently supplied to PC makers at 5,000 to 6,000 yen a piece. But next-generation internal DVD drives for PCs are likely to cost between 30,000 yen and 50,000 yen per unit initially.