The capacity represents more than four hours of HD quality video, at a 24 Mbps transfer rate, allowing users to take full advantage of Sony’s Blu-ray Disc burners and VAIO desktop and notebook computers.
Sony’s 50GB dual layer recordable disc has a suggested retail price of around $48.
My gut tells me that this will pretty much turn out like SuperAudio CD and the other DVD Audio formats. People seemed genuinely excited about the DVD format when it arrived. There's just too much initial skepticism - and it's way too soon - for Blu-Ray to be as successful.
Then again $1 per gig is not that unreasonable. And I tend to be WAY behind the times on these things - although the advantage is that I don't have a lot of useless technology laying around the house (save a few jazz and zip drives... oops).
Right, cause Sony is an old pro at winning these format wars...
Cheap, easy, and available wins the war, not the biggest and highest quality.
If you have to own a proprietary burning device and buy proprietary media to use it, it will never become the standard. If Sony really wanted to get Blu-ray used as the new better standard they would liscense the technology to everything in sight. There are always going to be a few people who early adopt and buy all of this stuff to go with it because it is "better". They are simply trying to get as much money out of high-end early adopters by trotting out a new better quality flashy item. I can't really fault them with the strategy, I mean they aren't exactly heading to the poorhouse with it.
It sounds like a hardware problem. I have a drive that showed the exact same symptoms. I cracked the case and have confirmed that there are some solder joints that are shot where the USB connector meets the PCB.