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Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Games software giants swell Blu-ray group

As three more companies join the Blu-ray bandwagon, Sony?s format looks to be first choice among developers of electronic games.

With Hollywood studios currently split over which of the next-generation DVD standards to endorse, it appears that the electronic gaming industry may favor the Blu-ray technology developed by Sony and Matsushita.

Software giant Sun Microsystems and leading games developers Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) are the three latest companies to join the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).

BD technology relies on a blue GaN laser diode chip at the heart of every player and recorder, and the Japanese blue laser pioneer Nichia is a member of the BDA.

According to the BDA, it is the extra capacity of the Sony format that is winning over the games developers. Double-layer Blu-ray Discs hold up to 50 GB of data, while Toshiba?s rival dual-layer HD DVD format holds 30 GB.

?These companies tell us they simply can?t deliver the kinds of products they want to offer consumers with any other format,? said chief BDA spokesperson Maureen Weber.

?Blu-ray offers the capacity, performance and high-speed internet connectivity to take us into the future of gaming,? added VU Games? chief technology officer Michael Heilemann.

Meanwhile, fast-growing Korean electronics giant Samsung unveiled its Blu-ray Disc player and recorder at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week.

Samsung did not confirm the release date of the technology, but the player is expected to hit the stores this Fall.

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