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Buffalo flies the flag for Blu-ray format

The shape of drives to come?

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Buffalo appears to be throwing its weight behind Blu-ray Disc, sort of. The manufacturer has announced that it plans to release a drive capable of reading both Blu-ray and HD DVD, but which is only able to write to discs in the Blu-ray HD format.

Buffalo's Blu-ray read/write drive
Buffalo's BRHC-6316U2: reads HD DVD, writes Blu-ray

The drive, which will be offered with a USB 2.0 interface, will provide a whopping 6x write speed to a single-layer, 25GB BD-R disc and a 4x write speed to dual-layer BD-R disc. It will also provide a 2x write speed to a single- or dual-layer rewriteable BD-RE disc.

BD and BD-R read speeds come reach 6x too, dropping to 4.8x for dual-layer media. Again, the drive reads BD-REs at 2x, no matter how many layers the discs contain.

The drive will read single- and dual-layer HD DVDs at 3x.

Buffalo's drive will also offer writing capabilities to more traditional formats, such as DVD, where users will benefit from faster data-write times than with BD media.

European Blu-ray fans will have to sit tight for the time being through, because the drive is only due to be released in Japan towards the end of next month, for ¥74,800 (£321/€473/$647).

Earlier this month, small form factor PC manufacturer Shuttle launched a custom-build PC available with either a Blu-ray writer or combo drive crammed into its tiny frame.

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