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Pioneer pitches cut-price Blu-ray Disc drive

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Pioneer has launched its bid to dominate the Blu-ray Disc drive business with a drive set to retail for just €250 ($340/£170) including taxes. The catch: it's a read-only drive, at least as far as HD media go.

The Japanese giant said it would offer two versions of the drive, one for computer manufacturers, the other for consumers, and both in black and beige models. Like the OEM product, the consumer-oriented drive - the BDC-S02 - can read single- and dual-layer BD, BD-R and BD-R media, along with all the other optical media out there, including DVD°R/RW, CD-R/RW and Video CD.

However, the drive will only write DVD and CD media, at up to 24x.

Still, Pioneer reckons the drive will allow punters to start viewing pre-recorded BDs on their PCs, a demand driven the the push the next-gen optical disc format has had from the launch of Sony's PlayStation 3.

The BDC-S02 and the OEM model, the BDC-202, is due to become available to buy in the US at the end of May, and here in June.

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