Although Buffalo is launching an external, portable BDXL burner, disc prices are so high that the tech may not be in high demand for quite a while.
Buffalo is claiming "world's first" with the upcoming release of its portable BDXL drive, the BRXL-PC6U2-BK drive. The device is slated to launch first in Japan by the end of the month for 23,205 Yen. However, there's currently no indication of when the drive will land here in the States, or if it will sell for a comparable $286 USD.
For the uninitiated, BDXL (RE4) is a new Blu-ray specification defined back in June 2010 that allows capacities of 100 GB (three layers) and 128 GB (four layers) for write-once BD-R discs, and 100 GB for rewritable BD-RE discs.
"By using the existing Blu-ray technologies, we have created a long-term and stable solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images," said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair.
According to Buffalo, the new slim and compact drive can burn data to these new discs at 4x speed. The only drawback is that the drive requires two USB 2.0 connections to burn at full throttle, but can still perform at 2x speed by using only one USB 2.0 connection.
But until the price of BDXL discs come down, we bet supporting optical drives like this one won't be in high demand on the consumer front for quite some time. As of December 2010, the price of each 3-layer 100 GB BDXL disc roughly costs around $57 USD a piece... nearly one-fifth the price of the Buffalo BRXL-PC6U2-BK external drive itself.