Sony are to launch their new Blu-ray discs in Europe this month, with re-writable BD-RE discs due by the end of March, single-write BD-R's in April, and dual layer discs following by the end of 2006.

Sony Blu-Ray discs

The single-layer discs have a storage capacity of 25GB with 2x speed allowing for a 72Mbps data transfer rate, which Sony claim will allow some 2 hours and 15 minutes worth of video recorded at 24Mbps bitrate to be stored on the discs, or over 10 hours at 5Mbps.

Sony claim their Blu-Ray discs have an expected lifetime of up to 30 years, whilst also claiming to be half as susceptible to warping due to changes in temperature and humidity when compared with standard CD's and DVD's, and also feature a special Scratch Guard hard coating which makes the discs 100 times more durable than those without the coating.