Sony unveils internal 12X Blu-ray RW drives

If you have a desktop PC that could use a Blu-ray rewritable drive, now might be a good time to start looking at making that purchase.

Sony Optiarc America has unveiled a new generation of fast half-height internal Blu-ray Disc rewritable drives that offer up to 12X write speeds for single-layer BD-R media, and up to 8X for dual-layer.

Sony unveils internal 12X Blu-ray RW drives

The two models, the BD-5300S and BWU-500S, are identical except that the former is generically packaged for OEMs while the latter is Sony retail branded and boxed for consumer purchase. The BWU-500S does come bundled with CyberLink’s Media Suite 8 software which allows users to capture, edit, create, or view high-definition content and playback of Blu-ray discs, including 3D movies.

The retail package also includes a 25GB Sony BD-R blank disc, which the press release states the drive is capable of filling with data in only 10 minutes. If 25GB doesn’t happen to be enough to meet your data-recording needs, Sony also says that the drives “can record up to 50GB of data for random access storage and backup on BD-R (write once) or BD-RE (rewritable) discs, or up to 220 minutes of high-definition 24M bps MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video on a BD-R/RE 50GB disc.”

Of course you’ll also get support for standard 4.7GB DVD+/-R discs at record speeds of up to 16X, with DVD+RW at up to 8X and DVD-RW at up to 6X. 8.5 GB DVD+/-R Double/Dual layer are also supported at up to 8X speeds, while a standard CD-R will record at up to 48X.

Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing, but the BWU-500S will start hitting retail shelves and online resellers this month.

For all the technical specifications, check out the product page on Sony Optiarc’s website.