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Panasonic and Sony reveal Blu-ray recorders

Despite problems with the manufacturing scale-up of blue laser diodes, the two Japanese consumer electronics companies expect their new Blu-ray recorders to hit the stores in time for the year-end holiday season.

Panasonic and Sony have both revealed plans to launch Blu-ray Disc recorders before the end of the year.

The recorders feature GaN-based blue/violet lasers emitting at 405 nm, the components that have been identified as responsible for the delay and scale-back of Sony's Playstation3 launch (see related story).

However, Blu-ray recorders will be manufactured in much smaller quantities than the Playstation3, meaning that enough blue lasers can be made to meet the demand.

Panasonic, the consumer brand name for Matsushita Electric Industries, will launch its Blu-ray recorders on November 15, just a couple of days after Sony's new games console finally hits stores in the US and Japan. The Panasonic hardware also plays back Blu-ray discs.

Meanwhile, the Japanese online business newspaper Nikkei.net reports that Sony unveiled its new Blu-ray recorder to consumer electronics retailers last week.

Although yet to specify a launch date, Sony's marketing chiefs say that the product will hit stores before the "year-end shopping season".

The price of both Blu-ray recorders will be very high to begin with, but it is expected that the move to mass production of blue laser diodes associated with the Playstation3 console ramp-up will help to gradually lower the price tag on all Blu-ray recorders.

That scale-up in production volumes is thought to be taking place right now.

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