Sony is about to start selling the industry’s first 128 GB write-once BD-R XL optical media. The discs will also be the first quad-layer BDXL media formally aimed at consumers, but bringing benefits to professionals that use BDXL today.

Although the general BDXL specifications were announced back in 2010 for multi-layered write-once discs with 25 GB and 33.4 GB layers, only triple-layer BDXL discs with a 100 GB capacity (generally aimed at broadcasting, medical, and document imaging industries) have been made available so far. By contrast, quad-layer 128 GB media has never seen the light of day until now.

As it turns out, increasing the per-layer capacity of Blu-ray discs (BDs) to 33.4 GB via a technology called MLSE (Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation) was not a big problem, and most of today’s BD players and optical drives support the BDXL standard. However, increasing the layer count to four while ensuring a broad compatibility, signal quality across four layers, yields, and some other factors slow downed release of 128 GB BDXL essentially by eight years.

In a bid to build a viable quad-layer 128 GB write-once BDXL disc, Sony had to design three new materials. First, the company had to create a new recording alloy that would provide the right combination of reflectance and transmittance to ensure that the layers can “reflect” data bits when needed while allowing the 405nm laser to pass through them when another layer is accessed. Then, Sony had to develop a new inter-layer material (called dielectric) that would also be able to transmit light waves. Finally, because with four layers the first one has to be located closer to the disc’s surface, Sony had to design a new protective coating for the media.

Sony will start shipments of its BD-R XL 128 GB media on the 10th of November. Single-disc packages (BNR4VAPJ4) will retail for ¥1,500 ($13), a pack of three (3BNR4VAPS4) will cost ¥3,900 ($34), whereas a pack of five (5BNR4VAPS4) will be priced at ¥6,000 ($53). The discs should be compatible with drives supporting the BDXL spec, though a firmware update may be needed regardless.

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Sources: Sony, PC Watch,

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  • DigitalFreak - Friday, November 9, 2018 - link

    Red Dead Redemption 2 is 2 discs
  • yeeeeman - Friday, November 9, 2018 - link

    Red dead redemption 2 comes with 2 BD dual layer disks, each 50GB in size.
  • Lolimaster - Friday, November 9, 2018 - link

    You will need to install it anyways.
  • nikon133 - Sunday, November 11, 2018 - link

    True... and only one disk is required for playing, so no swapping.

    Still... with all the future PS and X being - they should, right? - proper 4K machines, amount of data will raise further. textures, pre-rendered cut scenes and whatnot. There will always be requirement for more storage.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Friday, November 9, 2018 - link

    If only there was a world wide network of computers, that allowed you to download a massive amount of data as you needed it.
  • SAMMICHES25 - Friday, November 9, 2018 - link

    If only internet was 100% reliable without DATA CAPS and throttling on specific services. If only the magical network you speak of was equally available in every part of the world. If only I didn't have to worry about DRM interfering with gameplay when my internet connection isn't available.
  • ryrynz - Friday, November 9, 2018 - link

    Calm down there chief.
  • Tams80 - Saturday, November 10, 2018 - link

    There's no point explaining that to such people. They never leave urban areas and live in well serviced areas. To them, what they see as the world (other than parts they wouldn't bother going to) is always connected.
  • Samus - Monday, November 12, 2018 - link

    Sounds like you need to move to a city.
  • Vatharian - Saturday, November 10, 2018 - link

    I really wish my home internet was faster. I only have 700/400 Mbps for $9.34 (in today's exchange rate). I'm so sad because of data caps - on my mobile (home internet doesn't have any... why it would have?). After first 50GB it slows down to mere 25 Mbps :( It's also expensive - $37/mo with 12 months contract, LG V30 included. It's so hard to live in 3rd world country.

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