Keep case

A keep case or poly-box is a type of packaging, most commonly used with DVDs (and sometimes CDs).

Standard black keep case

Besides DVD-Video films, keep cases are very common with most video games since the PlayStation 2, as well as PC titles, and MP3-CD audiobooks (all use discs that are the same basic dimensions as a DVD).

Products using keep casesEdit

The first products to be released in keep cases were VHS tapes,[citation needed] though most were stored in less expensive pressboard sleeves. In the days before video games were released on optical media, cartridges would rarely come packaged in specially designed plastic keep cases with lugs inside to hold the instruction manual, as opposed to pressboard boxes. Cartridges and cards for the Sega Master System platform were the first video games to be packaged in any kind of keep case. The vast majority of Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games would come in a plastic keep case (roughly the size of a VHS case), but were later packaged in pressboard boxes, as a cost-cutting measure. Before the standard, commonly used DVD case was invented, early CD-ROM based video games such as Sega CD and early PlayStation titles, would often come in thicker and taller jewel case. These have been reputed to break very easily. Since the PlayStation 2, most major console-based video game software is packaged in some sort of keep case, including Nintendo DS cartridge titles, and Sony PSP titles.

Full size
Product Color Notes
Audio CD discs Majority black, all other colors possible Usually for audiobooks and student educational materials issued after mid 2000s.
Video CD discs Majority black, all other colors possible
DVD videos Majority black, all other colors possible
Blu-ray videos Black Rarely for individual discs. Used primarily for some Blu-ray/DVD combo packs.
PC CD-ROM games Majority black or clear, all other colors possible Usually for CD-ROM games issued after mid 2000s.
PC DVD-ROM games Majority black or clear, all other colors possible
Master System My Card games Black
PlayStation games Navy blue Only used for 1 game in the United States, Metal Gear Solid as part of a set.
PlayStation 2 games Navy blue or black [1] Most contain a memory card slot
Sega Dreamcast games Black or orange Select titles in Japan only
Nintendo GameCube games Black[2] North America/Europe. Most contain a memory card slot
Xbox games Lime Green[3]
Xbox 360 games Translucent lime green[4]
Wii games White[5]
Wii U games Bright cerulean[6]
Smaller size
Product Color Notes
Audio CD Discs Translucent orange Used for some audiobooks and MP3 CD's issued after 2006.
DVD videos Black and Clear Rarely used for single discs, Black cases usually used for bonus features DVD disk in some Blu-ray and HD-DVD movie compilation packs. Clear cases used for some DVD music concert albums.
Blu-ray videos Blue, often translucent. Other colors are used for some titles.
High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray songs & albums Clear
Blu-ray 3D Clear, though older titles in translucent blue
Ultra HD Blu-ray videos Black
HD DVD videos Red, often translucent
PlayStation 3 games Translucent white[7]
PlayStation 4 games Translucent blue[8]
PlayStation 5 games Translucent blue
Xbox 360 games Translucent green Used for select reissued Xbox 360 titles after backwards compatibility was added to the Xbox One, Left handed case, Both Xbox 360 and Xbox One logos are embossed onto the top
Xbox One games Translucent green Left handed case, The Xbox One logo is embossed onto the top
Xbox Series X games Translucent green Left handed case. An updated Xbox logo, in white, is embossed onto the top. There is also a black sticker of the "Series X" logo on the upper right corner of the case.
Larger size
Product Color Notes
VHS videos Majority black and white, all other colors possible
Betamax videos Majority black and white, all other colors possible
Many Famicom games Black
Nintendo Switch games Black Only used for the limited edition issue of Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King
Master System cartridge games Black
Many Sega Genesis games Black
Neo Geo games Black
Some 3DO games Black Snap case
Proprietary size
Product Color Size Notes
Nintendo GameCube games Clear 149mm x 107mm x 17mm Japan, also used for Game Boy Player startup disc in North America. Most contain a memory card slot.
Nintendo DS games Black [9]
(White for DSi only games)
135mm x 122mm x 15mm North America/Japan, most contain a slot for Game Boy Advance cartridges or DS options pak.
Nintendo DS games Clear 135mm x 122mm x 20mm Europe, most contain a slot for Game Boy Advance cartridges or DS options pak.
(New) Nintendo 3DS games White [10] 135mm x 122mm x 12mm Regular 3DS Games in all Regions; New 3DS exclusive Games only in Japan and North America
New Nintendo 3DS games Black 135mm x 122mm x 14mm Europe
Nintendo Switch games Clear 170mm x 104mm x 10mm Has tabs on left side above cartridge slot to keep promotional material in place
PlayStation Portable games Clear 168mm x 99mm x 14mm
PlayStation Vita games Blue 135mm x 105mm x 12mm


Materials and featuresEdit

Xbox Keep case. Lime green version, used for most Xbox games
Wii keep case

The cases are made of soft, clear or colored, polypropylene plastic with a transparent polyethylene outer jacket, usually with a printed paper sleeve behind it. A variety of colors are produced, including black, white, red and clear. On the inside are sets of clips that may hold a booklet or additional sheets of paper with extra information. The DVD is held into place with a small protrusion (a "hub") which fits into the hole in the DVD. For console games like the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, an extra protrusion is available for storing memory cards.[11]

Types of hubsEdit

The structural differences between a CD and a DVD have led many manufacturers to study different hub designs for keeping the DVD (or the DVDs, in multi-disc cases) in place: unlike CDs, which are made from one layer of plastic material, DVDs have two layers, which are thinner (so that together they reach the same thickness of a CD) and not bonded all the way to the center. As a result, a DVD hub is weaker than a CD's, and may be damaged if stored in a case which is designed for CDs only.[citation needed]

In addition to "pluck hubs" (which are often a simple evolution over the classical "crown of teeth"), "push-to-release" hubs are very common: in this case the hub is made in such a way that simply pushing on it with a finger compresses its component parts, thus shrinking the space it occupies and releasing the disc center; under normal situations the release cannot occur accidentally and requires someone to push on the hub (this is obviously more difficult to obtain in slim and ultra-slim cases, where in fact pluck hubs may be preferred to push-type ones).[citation needed]

Damage riskEdit

The larger size of the keep case compared to the CD jewel box means that if the disc becomes detached from the center hub, it can move around inside the box, and the playable surface can be scratched by the hub. This can be a problem during shipping.

The center "Pluck-Hubs" are designed to keep a disc in place while shipping, but can be too tight for normal home use. Because of this, the disc can be damaged upon removal due to excess warping. However, the edges of the center hub can be permanently bent in slightly to allow for a looser fit. Discs are then able to slip out easily, ideal for the home shelf.[12][13][14]

Physical dimensionsEdit


The height and width of a (closed) keep case are fixed at 190mm (7.48 inches) and 135mm (5.315 inches), respectively.[15] The thickness may vary to accommodate more discs ("multi" case) or to require less shelf space ("slim" or "thin" case). For a typical single-disc case it is 15mm.

A keep case, thus, approximates the Video Software Dealers Association recommendation that a single-disc DVD-Video package have the same height as a VHS tape (187 mm) and the same width as a CD jewel case (142 mm). These dimensions are similar to digest size magazines.

Paper sleeveEdit

Keep cases with printed sleeves (AKA DVD case inserts[16]): text and colors are printed on the paper/card stock which is held in place between transparent thin plastic and opaque thicker plastic.

The printed paper sleeve for a standard DVD case can be printed on a standard A4 sheet of paper which, after cropping, can be slipped into the outer jacket. The paper room on the front and back panels of the case is 129.5mm × 183mm[citation needed] and spine panels have a width of 14mm or less. This gives 273mm × 183mm as resulting maximum overall dimensions for the printout (which is less than the 297mm × 210mm of an A4 paper sheet).


Booklet inserts or leaflet material, when folded closed, should measure to a maximum of 120mm × 180mm.

Similar, though not identical, packaging is used for commercial Blu-ray Disc titles and was used for HD DVD titles. However, the dimensions of the cases are somewhat different, about 19 mm shorter. The individual cases are color-coded, with blue being used for Blu-ray and red for HD DVD, and the format displayed prominently on a stripe above the cover art.

Empty cases and do-it-yourselfEdit

In addition to the industrial usages reported above, empty keep cases are available at retail stores, which can serve for instance as a replacement for broken cases or for DVDs containing personal video recordings or data. Common brands are Maxell, Memorex, TDK, Verbatim, NexPak, US Digital Media and Amaray. Some vendors, e.g. TDK and Infiniti, also sell recordable DVDs individually packed in keep cases.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (Blue in PAL regions for 2001 onwards, Silver for Platinum releases, Red for Games that require Buzz controllers or NTSC Greatest hits, White for Singstar games and Gran Tourismo 2, Metal Gear Solid 2 has a clear case)
  2. ^ Some games have variant colors in PAL regions such as blue (Super Mario Sunshine), red (Mario Kart: Double Dash!) or silver (Player's Choice titles)
  3. ^ Platinum Hits (North America) come in Silver, whereas Xbox Classics (PAL regions) in green, Xbox Magazine demos in slim clear cases
  4. ^ Platinum Hits games come in translucent grey, and Kinect games in translucent purple, Xbox Magazine demos and Scene It: Lights, Camera, Action in slim clear
  5. ^ some games have variant colors such as red (New Super Mario Bros. Wii), yellow (Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games) and black (Pandora's Tower)
  6. ^ some games have variant colors such as red (the U.S. Version of Mario Kart 8; the U.S. Version of Super Mario Maker), green (New Super Luigi U) and Yellow (the PAL Version of Super Mario Maker)
  7. ^ Greatest Hits games in the Americas come in opaque red, and Platinum Hits games in Europe come in silver
  8. ^ Greatest Hits games come in opaque red
  9. ^ Select Mario titles are red since 2010
  10. ^ Select Mario games are red
  11. ^ "Worms 4 Mayhem for PlayStation 2". Flickr. 8 January 2007.
  12. ^ Labriola, Don (June 22, 2004). "DVD Rot, or Not?". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012.
  13. ^ "polyNEWSline: October 2008". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  14. ^ " • View topic - PS2 case cracking the game disc". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Amaray product brochure" (PDF). Amaray. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  16. ^