Last summer, Hitachi Maxell promised that first-generation holographic storage media would appear by the end of the year. It seems to have taken a little longer than expected, but The Register reports that InPhase Technologies—the company that co-developed the media with Hitachi Maxell—has begun shipping 300GB holographic discs and compatible drives. Of course, as with any new technology, there’s somewhat of a price premium involved. In this case, InPhase is charging a cool $18,000 for holographic drives and $180 a pop for 300GB holographic discs. Drives can read and write data to the discs at a maximum speed of 20MB/s, roughly the same as a 16X DVD burner. Looking ahead, InPhase plans to release re-writeable holographic discs in 2008 and to bump up the storage capacity of its media to 1.6TB in 2010.