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Speculation: XBox 720 & PS4 Bypassing Blu-ray for Holography?

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295w ago - The [Register or Login to view links] recently ran an article about a [Register or Login to view links] science and research team and their findings of storage capacity in the medium of holography.

This isn't particularly new news, given that holography has been around for ages. However, what it is new about these findings is that they can use holographic optical media to maintain data storage equivalent to 100 standard DVDs.

To quote: "This could be the next generation of low-cost storage," said Richard Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering, a technology research firm.

The light-pattern encoded medium, at the moment, is fairly expensive and will only be available for medical, marketing and research purposes. However, by 2011 the team is expecting mass-market breakthroughs that will see Holographic Optical Media being used as a standard-fare storage medium.

According to the article, "The recent breakthrough by the team, working at the G.E. lab in Niskayuna, N.Y., north of Albany, was a 200-fold increase in the reflective power of their holograms, putting them at the bottom range of light reflections readable by current Blu-ray machines."

So what does this mean? It means that Holographic Optical Media can be read by Blu-ray devices but doesn't have to be limited to Blu-ray technology. This also means that Sony and Microsoft could potentially build optical drives around the convenience of current and past generation media formats while embracing Holography for the most demanding of next-generation game development on the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4.

For those wondering about price and economic convenience, just know that by 2012 the research shows, according to the article, that "...holographic discs using its technology will be less than 10 cents a gigabyte – and fall in the future."

By 2011 holographic discs are already expected to be cheaper per gigabyte than the $1 per gigabyte ratio of Blu-ray when it launched in 2006. I don't know about anyone else but the timeframe really seems to coincide nicely with the suspected launch of the new consoles in 2011.

So is it possible that the PS4 could bypass a Blu-ray only format for an HOM/Blu-ray combo? And would this be a good move for Microsoft, especially given that a player that can read Blu-ray can also use HOM? Well, time will only tell but I would definitely look forward to the consoles if they did use this kind of optical storage medium, given that storage capacity would no longer be a pang for developers.

At present, General Electric is currently licensing out the technology and working with partners to further solidify the new medium across multiple technology and business markets.

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#3 - banksc - 295w ago
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While possible, I don't see this happening. I certainly think this could be a viable solution in the 2011 timeframe, but I don't see the console market driving this technology. Quoting that it took 6 yrs to introduce BR to the consumer market does not imply that it will take the same for holography. Considering that they are to the point in which they can use current technology to read the discs, they are way ahead of the game versus BR. BR had to develop a new blue laser, in addition to the media. It was that blue laser that help up the initiation of the BR, at least to some extent.

As noted, I don't see consoles as the driving force for this technology. Consoles do not need to push the storage capacity limits. Yes, something incrementally bigger than BR would be nice, but with all the focus on interaction between the internet and consoles, I see that as a way to support somewhat limited storage capacity on BR. They aren't yet utilizing the entire capacity potential of BR, and they are already making big 'add-on' packs available via PSN. If they can get the basic game on disc, they can implement a download to retrieve additional data. Yes, there are good arguments about the limitations of using the internet, but we are talking about 2011 and beyond.

Sony already gets enough flak about the price due to the BR drive. Do you think they are going to go through that again for a drive they cannot defend as a necessary component? In addition, if the holographic media is truely backward compatible, they can implement it at a later time....

My $49.95, anyway....


#2 - otarumx - 295w ago
otarumx's Avatar
There are new storage breakthroughs everyday but it takes quite some time for any of them to actually become viable, for example the first blu ray protoyype came out in 2000 and it took 6 more years for an actual consumer blu ray player to come to market.

If this holographic technology actually gains some traction (which is still doubtful given the many other storage solutions being investigated at the moment) the first actual player would be out no sooner than 2015 and would take most movie studios and a gaming giant like MS, Sony or Nintendo to make it a standard. Given the slow adoption rate of Blu Ray I don't expect studios jumping at this new technology specially when blu ray is finally becoming a worldwide renowned standard.

It's interesting to think about the posibilities but only MS would probably adopt this and it might go the way of HD DVD especially since Sony will not license technology from another company now that BD is making them so much money.

I expect Blu ray to last another generation and then for holographic storage to start making a splash.

#1 - nickbeans2009 - 295w ago
nickbeans2009's Avatar
amazing how far technology has came from the days of atari.. i figured that playstation 3 was going to be like virtual reality or something, back when playsation 2 was out before xbox 360 i looking forward to seeing these new consoles. ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW


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