Super-Player: HD DVD and Blu-Ray Brought Together by Ricoh

Dennis Faas's picture

AMD versus Intel, Xbox 360 versus Playstation 3 versus Nintendo Wii, Xplayer versus iPod: all are major Fall and Holiday 2006 clashes, but none has been perceived as mainstream as the movie-player war shaping up between HD DVD and Blu-Ray.

Just recently, however, one multimedia company announced their intent to release a device that refuses to pick a side in the war. Ricoh Technologies -- a company that has existed for over seventy years building electronic devices from photocopiers to digital cameras -- is boasting about its new product that reportedly plays both HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs.

Hardly a household name when compared to Panasonic, Sony, or Samsung, Ricoh remains an unfamiliar word with North Americans as a result of their predominant interest in the Japanese market.

Their new product, which is receiving attention from hardcore gaming to programming websites, seems to be Ricoh's attempt to change this limited awareness, instead launching a major product that could drastically alter the battle between these two competing formats. (Source:

Previous interests in creating a player that plays both HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs have been dismissed because the latter format is much thinner, amounting to just a 1.1 mm disc covered in a 0.1 mm coating. Ricoh's device solves this by using a diffraction plate between the laser and the lens, allowing for a change in beam spot size quickly and easily. (Source:

Ricoh's player was recently displayed at Tokyo's International Optoelectronics Exhibition on July 12th. Development of the player is moving steadily, and Ricoh promises it will reach manufacturers by the end of the year. This means it is possible that Ricoh's dual HD DVD and Blu-Ray device might be available at the same time as the first wave of singular format devices from North America's more recognized tech companies. (Source:

No price has yet been determined, but it's safe to assume you'll want to start saving ... now.

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