"..Matsushita said on Monday it will launch its first recordable DVD player in Japan in June, mounting a challenge to rival Pioneer and possibly setting off a DVD "format war". Matsushita, whose brands include Panasonic, National, and Technics, said its unit will use a 4.7 gigabyte Digital Versatile Disc-Random Access Memory (DVD-RAM) disk and sell at 250,000 yen ($2,300) -- the same price as Pioneer's DVD-RW player.
Pioneer's DVD-RW player was the world's first recordable DVD machine, but it uses a different format which has also been adopted by Sharp Corp and Kenwood Corp. Matsushita plans to work with Toshiba and Hitachi with its DVD-RAM system.
"We aim to promote DVD-RAM as the de facto industry standard in consumer DVD video recording. We have no plan to make it compatible with DVD-RW recorders," a Matsushita official said. Osaka-based Matsushita aims to produce 4,000 units a month and market the machines in the United States later this year. A launch schedule for Europe has not been decided, it said..."