Sony teams with Panasonic for 300GB optical disks - the slot lives on!

It's unknown why, at the moment, the teams at Sony and Panasonic have decided they'd like to keep the standard-sized optical disk (CD-sized, that is) alive, but they've announced just that this morning. In an effort to create next-generation professional-use disks with capacities of at least 300 GB, these teams will join forces here and now. Their aim is to create this new media by the end of 2015.

This announcement comes after the next-newest advancement in disk technology – the Blu-ray – has been on the market since 2003. That's ten years since the first prototype Blu-ray player was released, and another three years before that when the first Blu-ray was prototyped. Sony and Panasonic aim to take this size and format into the future with its full collection of strengths from the format itself and both companies' unique solutions living in the same storage universe.

Panasonic's contribution comes in the form of the LB-DM9 series optical disk storage device, made to house twelve 100GB optical disks in a dedicated magazine coming in at a thickness of 20.8mm. Meanwhile Sony's solution came back in September of 2012 with their file-based optical disk archive system working with technology created for its XDCAM series of broadcasting products.

Each of Sony's system's disks (all twelve of them) were held within a single compact cartridge, each of them coming in at 25GB capacity. Storage capacities between 300GB and 1.5TB were offered, while Panasonic's solution worked with 90 magazines with a storage capacity of 180TB in all.

We'll be seeing this one solution, this one disk with storage capacity of 300GB or more by the end of 2015 complete with the good bits that've been with disks for several generations. Water resistance, humidity resistance, and ease in storage will live on.

Now we'll get to see how the companies that've moved well beyond the disk universe will respond. Can we expect a return to drives? Or will Sony and Panasonic concentrate on the professional end alone?