Owing to the ubiquity of broadband and the prevalence of flash memory for the slouching demand of optical media. While it was once it vogue to purchase PC games from a physical store, and share files via CD-R a shift in technology has moved the former to online delivery services like Steam and the latter to flash memory devices such as USB thumb drives.
Apple was one of the first major OEMs to take note of this shift away from optical media with the release of the Macbook Air. Now many PC OEMs have taken note and are shipping PCs sans-optical drives.
Sony, for their part, has seen the writing on the wall and has decided to shutter its optical drive division.
The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese business paper, is reporting that Sony Optiarc — the wholly owned subsidiary that manufactures optical drives — will cease operations by March of next year.
Sony says that it is restructuring for a return to profitability, focusing more on its television and monitor line — which have both been a proven success — and high-margin technology such as image sensors, signal processors, and lenses.