Just when you thought that SD memory cards, with their fancy new SDHC spec, were pulling ahead of Sony's Memory Stick Pro format in terms of capacity and data transfer rates, here come Sony and SanDisk with an upgrade. The two companies have teamed up to keep Sony's proprietary memory card format up-to-date by increasing the maximum capacity to 32GB and bumping the top theoretical data transfer rate to 60 megabytes per second. That makes this new format three times as fast as current Memory Stick Pro media, according to the companies, though the new cards will be the same physical size as current Memory Stick Pro Duo media.
They also rate the new media's minimum write speed at 15 megabytes per second when used with an 8-bit parallel interface, which we surmise will be required in Memory Stick Pro-HG-compliant readers, which aren't expected until sometime next year.
According to the official statement, Memory Stick Pro-HG cards can be used in Memory Stick Pro-compatible devices, though you won't have the benefit of faster transfer speeds. Also, Memory Stick Pro-HG devices will accept Memory Stick Pro cards with similar caveats.