Seagate announced that it is shipping 8 TB hard drives to its key customers, and that's it. Period.
About a month ago we saw a report indicating that Seagate was shipping enterprise-class 8 TB hard drives to key customers for testing. Since then we haven't heard much, but today we received an official announcement from Seagate, which in short stated that the company is now shipping the 8 TB drives. Since there is no mention of testing, we can only assume that this is finished and that Seagate is rolling the drives out to customers as they roll off the production line.
These drives come in the standard 3.5" form factor and have SATA3 (6 Gb/s) interfaces. It remains unknown exactly how many platters are used in the drives. Aside from the capacity, physical size, and that it has a SATA3 interface, we weren't told more.
The highest platter count we've seen for a standard size 3.5" hard drive is seven platters, and the highest platter density we've seen lies around 1.2 TB per platter, which together would make the 8 TB capacity. Seagate didn't share any information about this though, so the best we're able to do is make assumptions.
In an attempt to get more information about the hard drives, we've reached out to Seagate, but the company told us that it wasn't able (or willing, as the case may be) to share any details beyond what's in the press release.
Fortunately, the press release did tell us that the drives would be widely available 'next quarter.' At that rate, it won't be reasonable to expect consumer-oriented 8 TB drives anytime this year, especially considering that Western Digital only just rolled out its 6 TB WD Green and WD Red consumer oriented drives.