OFFICIAL: Toshiba Announces Cancellation Of HD-DVD Format
We were one of the first to tell you this would happen, and now it has officially come to pass: HD-DVD has conceded defeat; according to today's press release, Toshiba has decided to "no longer develop, manufacture and market HD-DVD players and recorders."
The decision came after recent "major changes in the market," which included the majority of Hollywood siding exclusively with Blu-Ray, Wal-Mart opting to drop HD-DVD from all their stores, etc. The handwriting has been on the wall for a while, and the format war is now - very officially - over.
"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 Corporation. "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."
Toshiba will reduce shipments of HD-DVD players and recorders to retailers, and they plan to call a complete halt to the process by the end of next month. They will also end production of HD-DVD disk drives for PC software and video games, although they will "continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements." They say they will keep an eye on notebook PCs with integrated HD-DVD drives to evaluate future market demand. Toshiba also wanted to make it clear with this press release that this decision does not change their commitment to standard DVD, as they will of course continue to market their line of DVD players and recorders.
Recent reports have also said Toshiba plans to produce a Blu-Ray player by the summer, but this press release makes no mention of that. Perhaps it will come at a later date. But anyway, as far as the high-definition format war is concerned, it's over. The white flag is up, the soldiers are returning home, and thankfully, there doesn't seem to be too many casualties littering the battlefield. Blu-Ray is your winner, and the loser is taking everything in stride; before long, this will all just be a happy - albeit conflicted - memory.
2/19/2008 Ben Dutka