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Layered disc to stop next-gen format war?

Kyle Orland

Console makers and movie studios both have a lot riding on the success of the competing DVD formats, but a new patent recently filed by Warner Bros. engineers may help calm the battle. The patent details the creation of a disc that holds HD-DVD, Blu-ray and standard DVD data on the same disc by using three different layers of information. The discs would cost more to produce, but the cost might be worth it if movie consumers could be sure that the disc will work on whatever HD player they may end up with.

Could the technology lead to layered game discs that work in all three next-gen systems? Unlikely, since getting all the various publishers and console makers to agree on packaging and technical details would likely be impossible. Also, The Wii and Xbox 360 versions of a game would have to share room on the standard DVD layer, which might be a tight squeeze for some larger games. Still, it's nice to dream...

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