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Sony releases DVD drive bundle

Sony is selling its first DVD drive kit.

Sony Computer (SNE) today announced the availability of its first DVD drive kit.

A high-capacity storage technology just beginning to enter the commercial market, DVD-ROMs (digital versatile discs-read only memory) hold 4.7GB of data, enough for full-length films and videos and also sophisticated interactive games with full-motion video, among other uses. DVD-ROMs are all but certain to replace CD-ROMs, which hold only about 0.6GB.

Sony's first DVD-ROM kits, the DDU100E series, feature all the necessary equipment to take full advantage of the new DVD format, Sony said. The drives come bundled with an add-in card, as well as driver and multimedia software.

The kit enables playback of MPEG2 video using a Realmagic PCI video card. Sony's DVD drives are also backward compatible with CD-ROMs.

Three versions of the DDU100E series are available for system integrators, resellers, and retail buyers, respectively. All have a suggested price of $599.

To date, industry sales have been slow, but Walt Disney's recent announcement that it will sell DVD titles beginning this holiday season is expected to prompt consumers to buy DVD-ROM drives. DVD drives are also beginning to appear as part of PCs and as separate component products.