Now Engadget and others are proposing that the spread of this Xbox hack and the desire to copy games is fueling sales of dual-layer DVD-Rs. Like the Xbox 360, these have been around for a while, but both the media and the drives have been rather expensive until recently. I have a dual-layer DVD-R drive, but I’ve never written a dual-layer disc. I haven’t used up the single-layer DVD-Rs and RWs I have, and I don’t have any files too large to fit on a DVD. I suppose dual-layer DVDs might be nice because I could fit the entire contents of some folders on them, but it’s a modest gain in convenience.
Readers of Engadget claim that it’s unlikely that copies of Xbox games really account for the spread of dual-layer DVDs and drives to create and play them. Back when I was taking basic statistics in college, our professor warned us repeatedly that correlation does not imply causation. New media formats and new hardware start out expensive and get cheaper pretty quickly. The less technology costs, the more people buy it, as long as it works. And even if every Xbox owner started a veritable copied-game factory, it’s unlikely that they could account for the expected sales of 100 million dual-layer DVDs. It’s just as likely that readily-available, inexpensive media are driving the increase in Xbox game copies.
There are plenty of absolutely legitimate, non-game-related uses to which one can put dual-layer DVDs, and I’d love to hear from any readers who are using them. (If you’re hacking your Xbox, though, it’s probably better if I don’t know about it.) They’ve got an obvious application for people creating large media files, which is more and more of the population these days with the spread of digital video cameras.
Whether or not you have either a dual-layer DVD-writer or an Xbox, however, you should back up your important data. Then, if you want to, you can read the complete Engadget article.