There's a bit of a circular phenomenon happening lately. Record stores are opening up once again (while video rental stores are closing). Large vinyl records that were once shunned are now selling for $30 a pop in most large cities. Consumers love the security that comes with a tangible record. There's something safe about storing data on an actual disc, it seems.
Maybe that's why Sony and Panasonic have teamed up to develop something the companies are calling a 'next generation optical disc.' What's so "next generation" about it? To start with, these discs will store a minimum of 300GB. What else? Here are the details that have been released so far.
The New Next Generation Optical Disc
What could possibly be the appeal of an optical disc in this day and age? Many things, it seems. To start, an optical disc has a long lifespan when compared to a thumb drive or flash drive. Discs can last up to 20 years (maybe longer), while drives tend to have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years. What else?
Data has to be backed up somewhere, and the cloud is still a relatively new concept to most people. Sure, cloud storage has started to take over, but it remains an elusive idea that many people do not trust. Plus, 300GB provides a great storage opportunity for certain markets.
Sony and Panasonic have already stated that this new technology will be ideal for those in the video production industry. Game developers, too, will likely enjoy the storage that comes with 300GB. But, will Sony and Panasonic be able to sell the concept of a disc in 2013?
Will This Idea Work?
It's hard to deny the fact that data has to be backed up. Even data stored in the cloud must be backed up somehow, and that's what Sony and Panasonic are banking on. Still, the whole idea of a disc seems rather regressive. The two companies aren't targeting the average consumer with this new technology, but they are aiming at professionals that may require some solid backup options.
Going back to the recent surge in record shops and sales, it's not so far-fetched to assume that professionals (and even consumers) are tired of digital. Both Sony and Panasonic are so convinced that discs are the way to go that both companies are sinking a large amount of cash into the new project.
Availability and Other Details
Panasonic and Sony hope to have the new 'Next Generation' discs ready by the end of 2015. These discs will take some time to develop, it seems. Hopefully, the world doesn't lose interest in discs by the time the new options are ready to roll out. For now, Panasonic and Sony are the only companies working on storage discs.
If the idea of a disc pans out, though, you could see a whole new line of discs, records, and other physical data holders appear in stores near you in the very near future. What do you think about discs? It is too late?