Sony Electronics announced on Tuesday two new drives supporting double, or dual-layer, discs for DVD recordable formats, enabling storage of 8.5GB of data. The electronics and entertainment conglomerate said its $130 internal DRU-800A drive is currently shipping and its $210 external DRX-800UL will ship in late May. Both drives read and write to DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, CD-R and CD-RW discs as well as to DVD+/-R dual and double-layer discs. The drives are designed to support the widest range of DVD and CD formats on the market.
There has been an ongoing battle between two industry groups trying to establish a standard DVD recordable and rewritable format. The two groups, DVD+RW Alliance and DVD Forum, have established their own two-layer DVD disc formats, which they identify using slightly different names. The DVD+RW Alliance calls its format "double layer" and the DVD Forum calls its format "dual layer." Sony is part of both organizations and has often been among the first manufacturers to offer products combining the different formats.