Sony and Panasonic have announced plans to release a successor to Blu-ray by the end of 2015.

The new optical media format will include a recording capacity of "at least" 300GB - making it at least six times larger than Sony's current Blu-ray format, which is capable of holding 50GB.

The two companies hope that the "next-generation" disc will become an industry standard.

"Optical discs have excellent properties to protect them against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored," reads Sony's press release. "They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content."

However, the plans raise new questions over the long-term viability of Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Microsoft is finally set to introduce Blu-ray support to its console line with the launch of Xbox One this November, with Sony's console also featuring Blu-ray functionality.

Could the advance in optical media leave the two consoles behind, and if so, could it further encourage the firms to expand into the digital download market?