February 13, 2009 There's a lot of space on a 50GB Blu-ray disk. So much so that many PlayStation 3 developers are padding up to 50% of it with the data equivalent of whitespace, pushing content to the outside of the disc to decrease load times. Sony plans to change this with a hybrid movie/game disc, and expects at least two titles on shelves by the end of 2009.
John Koller, director of hardware marketing for the PS3 said "There are a lot of developers who say, we have this game based on a movie, wouldn’t it be great to marry these concepts?"
Indeed. There's already game spin-off movies available on Blu-ray, such as Resident Evil: Degeneration and Dead Space: Downfall. At US$40, these animated features are of questionable value to all but the most dedicated fans of the game, but when included on the game disc at, say, a $5 or $10 premium, they offer a unique value add - especially when included with other, more common "Collectors Edition" features.
Koller expects two or three of these hybrid discs to be on shelves by the end of 2009, but remained tight-lipped regarding the studios and developers likely to launch them - other than the obvious pick, Sony, that is.
Like many recent Sony Pictures titles on Blu-ray, the hybrid discs will contain a version of the film pre-encoded in a portable format which can be transfered to a PSP for watching on the go.
With the rival Xbox 360 system only capable of reading a 9GB DVD, Sony is pushing the benefits of the additional 41GB capacity of Blu-ray in other ways - and will be promoting games from third-party developers who are offering PS3-exclusive content, such as EA's Command and Conquer Red Alert 3: Ultimate Edition.
Tim Hanlon (Follow Tim on Twitter)
Story via Video Business via Slashgear