Matsushita is to launch products based on a higher-capacity, second-generation version of the DVD-RAM format.

The company, better known by its Panasonic brand-name, will in June launch a new computer drive and the first consumer video-optical disc recorder, both based on the second-generation system. Though Mac support is not yet promised, as a sign of storage solutions to come, the revelation is a boost to digital-content producers.

First generation DVD-RAM discs are capable of holding 2.6GB of data per side to give a maximum capacity of 5.2GB on a double-sided disc.

The second-generation format extends this to 4.7GB of storage per side to produce a maximum capacity of 9.4GB per disc, although only single-sided discs will be produced at first. The format is still battling for market acceptance against increasingly popular writable CDs.

Internal and external drives will appear in Japan in July, with media for the drives appearing there in June.