The new Archival Disc format was developed by Sony in conjunction with Panasonic. The first drives will arrive this summer with a 300GB capacity which is six time what the current dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray disc can hold. The Blu-ray AD format road map goes from 300GB to 500GB to 1TB using a triple-layer Blu-ray format. Each step on the roadmap to increase the storage on the disc will require optimization of the triple-layer format by doing things such as narrowing the track pitch, higher linear density, and improving the multi-level-recording process.
The target for the Archival Disc format is 4K movies of course which need massive amounts of disc space and computer archival and backup needs. The new discs feature excellent properties to protect against the harsh environment and format is designed to be truly archival.
A couple of things that are not clear is if the Blu-ray drives in the current video game consoles from both Microsoft and Sony can be upgraded with new firmware to read at least the basic triple-layer Blu-ray disc or not. We have to assume at this point that it is unlikely that the blu-ray drives in the already released system are capable of reading triple layer Blu-ray AD format discs that Sony is talking about here, but a standard triple-layer format has been talked about in the past.
This Blu-ray format would likely be a 75GB triple-layer format. Since the developers are not yet pushing the 50GB Blu-ray discs to the limit yet, the need for a new console format isn’t likely a priority, but Sony working with the triple-layer format does at least provide some home that a future upgrade might be at least possible.