Thursday, December 22, 2005

Why haven't we moved to smaller Discs?

With music, we're moving to MP3 players. Goodbye discman and walkman. However, that doesn't mean we don't have a need for discs still, be it games, movies, or music hardcopy.

With all the speculation on Bluray vs HD-DVD, it makes me wonder why we aren't trying to move to a smaller disc? You've seen mini-CDs for software and in other instances. They work in most drives as well.

Since Sony's Minidisc was unfortunately a failure, is the smaller disc size doomed for at least a decade or so? Their UMDs seem to be working out for their PSP, although to much bewilderment of many. Will UMDs be the next format? I certainly hope they can increase the space on them before that happens. If UMD outdoes Bluray, I think many will have a hardy chuckle.

Personally, bigger isn't better for something I want to store or transport. If all my media discs were Gamecube game size, I could store much more in a smaller space. Handling them is less clumsy, and warpage is less of a problem.

So instead of bringing yet another full sized disc into the market, why not use the blue-laser technology to give 10-20 GB mini discs? Disc drives are one thing that just hamper reducing the size of popular electronics today, whether it be DVD players, computers, or shelftop stereos.

One interesting aspect about that is the good old Compact Disc. Most albums don't even fill up a whole CD. Why continue to make them 4.5" in diameter when they could be 33% smaller? It would definitely save on some plastic. And possibly make more room on the store shelves.

Think of how much smaller the Xbox, 360, and PS2 could have been if they adopted the smaller size. It would probably reduce production costs as well.

I don't know about you, but I really like the small disc size for the Gamecube games. Looks like Nintendo is going away from that though, which is unfortunate. I don't really see why they would need a bigger disk for the Revolution proposals thus far.