Japananese consumer electronic giant is refusing to cave in to increasingly popular writable and rewritable CD players with the announcement of a new range of products based on a higher-capacity, second-generation version of the ailing DVD-RAM format.

The company, which is better known by its Panasonic brand name, will unleash a new computer drive and its first consumer video optical disc recorder in Japan next month. Both products will be based on the second-generation system.

First generation DVD-RAM (digital versatile disc 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 initially only single-sided discs will be produced.

The consumer video recorder will arrive first priced at around £1400 though no details have been given for a UK launch date or pricing.

Although intended as a future replacement to the conventional tape-based VCR, the product’s price will push it well out of the reach of most consumers.