Sony announces next-gen Blu-ray disc, can store up to 1TB of data

New "Archival Disc" aims to be the "new standard for professional-use, next-generation optical discs"; 300GB version rolling out next summer.

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[UPDATE] A Panasonic representative has clarified that the Archival Disc is specifically intended for professional purposes, not general consumer use.

"The development is specifically for professional archiving," a Panasonic spokesperson told PC World. "We are not currently considering optical discs for household consumer use."

The original story is below.

Today, Sony officially announced the "Archival Disc," described as a next-generation iteration of its Blu-ray format that can house up to 1TB of data. Currently, Blu-ray discs, like the ones used for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One games, can store up to 50GB of data.

Sony describes the Archival Disc as a "new standard for professional-use, next-generation optical discs, with the objective of expanding the market for long-term digital data storage." The Archival Disc was developed in conjunction with electronics giant Panasonic.

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Archival Disc systems will launch in summer 2015, with the first versions featuring 300GB of storage capacity--that's 6X the capacity of current 50GB Blu-rays. Sony will expand recording capacity per disc to 500GB and 1TB sometime later, though specific timing was not announced.

"In recent times, demand for archival capabilities has increased significantly in the film industry, as well as in cloud data centers that handle big data, where advances in network services have caused data volumes to soar," Sony said in a statement.

The new Archival Discs are write-once and are double-sided with three layers per side.

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