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Toshiba drops HD DVD, has no Blu-ray plans

updated 05:30 am EST, Tue February 19, 2008

Toshiba Drops HD DVD

Ending a longstanding format war, Toshiba on Tuesday formally announced that it would halt production of HD DVD devices and discs, all but rendering the format obsolete. In a confirmation of Japanese reports, the company plans to wind down hardware production by March for both stand-alone movie players and PC drives. Development of notebook HD DVD drives, such as for the company's own Qosmio line, will depend largely on demand. Writable HD DVD media will also continue to exist past March to cater to owners who need the format for burning video or computer data.

No mention has been made of how Toshiba will cater to movie studios Paramount and Universal, both of whom are still formally pledged to HD DVD. Warner Bros. also remains committed to releasing in both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats until June.

The end to HD DVD leaves approximately one million HD DVD devices in use, with most represented by Toshiba's movie players such as the HD-A3. At 300,000 units, nearly a third of these are Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on, which is likely to be discontinued without a replacement PC drive available. Computer builders such as HP are also expected to see a minor impact as they discontinue HD DVD drive options, although HP and others offer Blu-ray or else remain platform-agnostic, such as with Apple.

However, Toshiba chief Atsutoshi Nishida at a press event revealed that his company has "no plan at all" to implement Blu-ray as a replacement, suggesting instead that the company's emphasis on flash drives and small hard disks, processors such as Cell, and related technologies would still represent help to high-definition videos. Microsoft, however, is rumored to be developing an Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive for May to fill in the gap left by Toshiba.

Sony and other Blu-ray supporters have yet to comment on the move, which effectively hands victory to their standard. The format is widely believed to have gained the upper hand through Sony's PlayStation 3 console, which comes with Blu-ray as standard. The console alone is responsible for several million units and has provided Blu-ray with a much larger potential audience, though HD DVD backers regularly insisted that it should not factor into marketshare given its gaming focus.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    PS3 doesn't count?

    Oh yes it does! How can you ignore seven million players? Not that easily, it appears! Microsoft providing a blu-ray that's gotta hurt! Will they be providing some kind of cross-grade discount for existing HD-DVD users?

  1. bommai

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hopefully Uni/Par movies!

    Hopefully shortsighted Paramount and unsighted Universal release their star movies on Bluray. I will buy the Bourne movies on Bluray for sure.

  1. jbang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is hillarious "we have no plans for Blu-Ray" are you kidding? Toshiba get over it, lick your wonds and keep on pushing that is what you do. This inferior format died as it should havd, it was always just "suficiant" and always about costs not consumers. You kept going and spending your share-holders money far longer then you should have...shame on you. This prolonged consumer confusion and reluctance to buy a new format, any format, and don't think I am not talking to you too Paramount/Universal/ and Dreamworks. i am not trying to say that you had to not make HD-DVD movies, but you do not deprive the superior, greater selling format of your movies to force adoption of a lesser selling inferior format. There is NOTHING good in that for consumers d your distain for good ethics is where I fault you and praise your decision to quit, although later then I would have liked, all consumers now you can rejoice!

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More PS3 sales

    I would expect a larger number of PS3 sales now that the "confusion" regarding the Blue Ray and HD-DVD is over.

    I went for a 60GB PS3 as the writing was on the wall regarding the resolution the second Sony put Blu Ray in the PS3 and MS didn't add it to the 360. This simple trojan horse allowed Sony to pull off the same thing they did with the PS2...getting a DVD player in every home (not exactly the same situation, but the concept is the same).

    As was said earlier, Toshiba needs to "get over it" and start producing Blu Ray.

    I guess the irony of this is that it appeared that Sony and Toshiba were at war with one another, but late last year Toshiba bought the rights to the Cell Processor from Sony, so Toshiba was set not matter what. Even if the Cell isn't used in anything but the PS3, it still sells with every PS3 purchased.

  1. acknight

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Given that the article is referring to HD DVD devices sold, yes, the PS3 does not and never will count towards that total.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    and why the h*** would you not count the PS3 towards Blueray DVD players ?

    Thats the only reason we bought it ... a cheap Blueray player with the bonus of games

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