The Optiarc mashup between Sony and NEC has spawned a new brood of DVD and Blu-ray Disc drives. For HD DVD lovin' NEC already seen dabbling in dual-format underpinnings, the addition of Blu-ray Disc drives to their product roster is a notable development in the format war and yet another possible sign of Blu-ray's emerging dominance. No less than four new Blu-ray devices for laptops were launched at CeBIT: the BD-5710S, the BD-5600S, the BD-5500S, and the BD-5500A. The BD-5500A (pictured above) writes at 2x to both single- and dual-layer BD-R, 2x BD-RE DL, 4x DVD-R DL and reads BD at 2x. Also notable is the AD-7191A 20x DVD burner which is also capable of 12x DVD-RAM, 8x DVD±R DL/+RW and 6x DVD-RW. With Sony owning 55% of the joint venture, we're not holding our breath for Optiarc HD DVD drives anytime soon. All the drives are expected to hit in the July timeframe.

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Optiarc unveils first Blu-ray players -- HD DVD says "uh oh"