Toshiba PC built for DVD-ROM

The company introduces its first PC with a built-in DVD-ROM drive. But it's not for consumers.

Toshiba has beaten IBM to the punch.

Well, sort of. Toshiba today introduced its first PC with a built-in DVD-ROM drive, but not for consumers. IBM is expected to announce a system for consumers in early June.

The new system, appropriately named the DVD Developer's Platform PC, is being sold only to software developers who are creating next-generation DVD-ROM titles. Toshiba says it will introduce a consumer PC with a built-in DVD-ROM drive sometime this summer after first saying that such systems would be introduced in March of this year.

Toshiba says the PC will help developers who use Microsoft DirectShow 2.0 APIs (application programming interfaces) by allowing the DVD-ROM and the computer to communicate with each other.

They will also have access to a special Web site that will offer up-to-date information about title development and software downloads for various versions of Microsoft's operating systems.

The Developer's Platform comes with 32MB of memory, a 3.73GB hard drive, and MPEG-2 and Dolby digital audio decoder hardware. Qualified developers can buy the system for $999 for the first unit and $2,499 for additional units.