updated 01:55 am EST, Sat January 5, 2008
HD DVD Group Axes CES
The HD DVD Promotional Group tonight reacted to Warner's abandonment of HD DVD for movies by canceling its Consumer Electronics Show keynote on short notice. The organization does not say the keynote is being removed permanently from its scheduled but says it has "postponed" the event without a new date, according to the announcement. Discussions are said to be underway with the group's partners and are widely expected to determine how Toshiba and other HD DVD backers approach the format at the show. A statement from the organization says it remains committed to the "quality and affordability" of the disc format.
Toshiba itself has already reacted to the decision and claims not to understand Warner's decision; HD DVD has had "significant momentum" in the US and other areas and was entirely viable, the electronics maker says. The firm also claims that HD DVD players and equipped PCs have outsold their PC rivals but does not say whether these statistics include Sony's PlayStation 3, which is capable of movie playback. The HD DVD Promotional Group has historically omitted PS3 sales from its statistics and argues that only dedicated movie player and PC drive sales should count towards results.
The statements cloud the expected impact of HD DVD at CES, which was expected to mark a renewal of the conflict between Blu-ray and HD DVD with likely new products unveiled by supporters of each format. Microsoft in particular is rumored to have an Xbox 360 with an HD DVD drive built-in as part of its CES keynote presentation on Sunday and (if true) may be significantly impacted by Warner's decision to offer HD movie discs only in Blu-ray form. The conversion is understood to give Blu-ray a controlling majority of HD movie sales.