First we hear that Ricoh has developed an optical device for playing back both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, and now at Interopto 2006 in Tokyo, the company has officially announced a player using the device. Details are sketchy at this point, but Ricoh says the player supporting its 3.5mm diffraction plate will be available at the end of 2007, with a multiformat burner following soon thereafter.


This late 2007 ship date is rather disappointing, when we heard earlier that Ricoh's multiformat optical device would be available to OEMs at the end of this year. Does it really take an entire year to develop a player from this technology? Must be more complicated than we thought. Plus, this is just an announcement—you can announce anything you want, shipping product is a whole 'nother matter. Late 2007? That's about a dozen dog years away.

Ricoh first HD-DDV/BR player recorder at the Interopto 2006 [Akihabara News]