Is Toshiba Finally Laying Down The Sword on HD DVD?

It seems Toshiba is close to bailing in the battle of BluRay and high-def DVD battle and give up on its HD DVD format. The competing Blu-ray technology, lead by Sony Corp, seems to be the final winner in the 3 year battle.

Sony [Blu-ray] and Toshiba [HD DVD] lead competing consortiums vying to set the standard for the next-generation DVD and compatible video equipment.

The end of the war will be welcomed by yet to purchase consumers, who have paitently waited for a winner to emerge, before investing in DVD players and game stations. With a single victor, the DVD industry is expected to pick up the pace of development in the high-definition DVD space.

The final strokes that cup Toshiba’s followers down included:

Recent announcement by United States retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc that it would abandon the HD DVD format and stock only Blu-ray movies.

Previous announcement by Warner Bros that it was supporting Blu-ray exclusively. Warner Bros. Entertainment will be releasing its high-definition titles “exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning around June 2008. According to Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, the move is a “strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want…….the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger.”

Will this finally signal the exit of Toshiba from the next generation DVD business, with the company suffering losses likely to run to tens of billions of yen?

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