Sony Still Hasn't Learnt: It's Busted Out Yet Another Proprietary Optical Disc Format

By Sam Gibbs on at

Sony’s in trouble; it’s TV business hasn’t made a profit in eight-straight-years and its predicting the biggest loss in the company’s history. It’s even swapped out its CEO and is attempting to shrink its ranges and rejuvenate the company. So why the hell is it releasing yet another bloody proprietary optical disc format?

The new Optical Disk Archive system packs between 300GB and 1.5TB of capacity in a multidisc cartridge that slots into a desktop drive. The whole thing isn’t exactly small, packing 12 optical discs into one shell, which will apparently appear all as one disc. It sounds suspiciously like Sony’s just strapped 12 Blu-rays together and shoved it in a cartridge to me.

It’s not aimed at your average punter mind you; it’s aimed at those who still archive stuff onto digital tape and it's being shown off at NAB. It’s meant to be a long-term solution for storing data, but considering massive-storage hard drives have continued to get cheaper and cheaper, is there really any need for yet more removable storage like this? Optical storage, just like everything else isn’t permanent when it’s read-writable.

Considering discs are on their way out full stop, and everything is going either flash or hard drive based, or into the cloud, what does Sony think it’s doing? Is this really the answer to its troubles? Set up a new disc format, call it open even though it’s proprietary, and then hope that those that still back up on tape will switch? It seems incredible to me, but then maybe Sony knows something I don’t. I thought everything was eventually going to end up in the cloud with endless redundancies; maybe I was wrong. [The Register]