Sony on Jan. 10 announced that full-scale production of its Blu-ray discs will begin in February at its plant in Shizuoka, Japan. The discs, which hold 25 gigabytes of information (nearly five times that of a single-layer DVD) are the chosen format for the upcoming PlayStation 3, as well as (Sony hopes) a successor to the DVD format.
Sony's plant in Terre Haute will begin its own production run in May, while its Salzburg, Austria facility will follow suit starting in July. The company predicts that, over the course of 2006, it will produce 5 million of the discs each month.
If the localized production dates are any indication of the PlayStation 3's planned release, they appear to back up rumors that the next-gen console will hit Japan in the spring, and then arrive in the U.S. sometime in summer or fall. We'll find out as Sony reveals more of its plans in the coming months.