Toshiba drops HD DVD - the format war is over

Written by Tim Smalley

February 19, 2008 // 10:11 a.m.

Tags: #bros #brothers #content #dvd #format #hd #studios #war #warner

Companies: #blu-ray #toshiba

In announcement that spells the end of the high-definition format war, Toshiba said in a statement that it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders – a decision that it says was made "following recent major changes in the market."

Ever since Warner Bros said that it was to move exclusively to Blu-ray in an announcement on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show, it was only a matter of weeks before the format war would come to an end.

"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," said Atsutoshi Nishida, president and CEO of Toshiba. "While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality."

The company says it will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders and is aiming to pull out of the market completely by the end of March. In the same timeframe, Toshiba expects to end volume production of HD DVD disc drives for PCs and games (we're assuming they're talking about the Xbox 360 drive here), but it says that it "will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements."

During a Q&A session that followed the press conference in Tokyo, he said that the company has "no plans at all" to adopt Blu-ray at the moment.

Microsoft also issued a statement yesterday evening, which said that, "We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. We will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player." This came in before Toshiba's announcement, but given that Toshiba has said it plans to end volume production of all HD DVD devices, it seems fairly certain that Microsoft won't be selling the Xbox 360 HD DVD player for much longer.

Are you glad that the format war has come to an end? If so, were you happy with the outcome? Let us know in the forums.
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