Sony Corp. announced a plan to roll out a new DVD recorder, under development on its own, to the Japanese and overseas markets within fiscal 2002.
So far, Pioneer Corp. has provided DVD-RW recorders for Sony under an OEM contract. In anticipation of a DVD recorder market emerging quickly, however, Sony has decided to take the bold course of launching a product developed independently. Although Sony got left out by other competitors in the Japanese market, it still sees a chance to quickly increase its share in the overseas market, which the company expects to gain momentum and rise around 2004.
The product under development is the so called DVD-RW-enabled type, allowing for recording and replaying of data written in DVD recording video formats such as DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-R (not enabling the DVD+R format this time). Sony has been developing its proprietary technologies, including optical pickup, a signal processing LSI, and firmware, having in its sights necessity of enabling both the -RW and +RW formats.
As for a model to be released in the Japanese market, Sony is now considering whether to equip the product with a feature of enabling both formats or only the DVD-RW format by disabling the DVD+RW. If the DVD+RW format becomes widely adopted in this market, the dual formatting function will be regarded as an added value; otherwise, the function might fill users with confusion. Sony is said to be keeping an eye on a business climate around DVD+RW. Nonetheless, another model for overseas shipment will have a function to handle both formats. According to Sony's strategy, the first-generation DVD recorder will be brought to the market as a high-value-added product that has high quality of pictures and sound. Subsequently, it will aim the second generation to be sold in a diffusion price range by reducing the cost in the LSI and so on, but to be in the same quality as the first generation.
Sony is also engaging in development of recording and replaying equipment for a PC, which is predicated on necessity of corresponding to both formats. Accordingly, an OEM partner will be allowed three options, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, or DVD-RW, in a formatting function to choose as desired."