The battle between Sony's Blu-ray and Toshiba's HD DVD high-definition disc formats has ended after HD DVD manufacturer Toshiba has announced it will no longer produce HD DVD players.
In a press conference yesterday, Toshiba president Atsutoshi Nishida confirmed that Toshiba will terminate research and development plans for future HD DVD products. Toshiba claims the catalyst to their exit was Warner Bros. studios' deciding to align itself with Blu-ray.
In what is a reverse of the VHS vs. Betamax format war, Sony's Blu-ray has come out on top with the backing of major studios and retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Netflix, and Blockbuster who announced they would only support Blu-ray exclusively..
Toshiba has said they will continue to provide maintenance service on HD DVD discs and players for eight more years.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 comes with a $50 HD DVD add-on player, whose fate has not yet been decided. As well, Paramount and Universal, who are the only two film studios to release titles exclusively on HD DVD, have not yet announced their plans following Toshiba's announcement.
EDITOR'S NOTE (Feb. 20/08): Within hours of Toshiba's announcement, Universal has announced they will release their home video titles on Blu-ray. (Hat tip to reader Alan).
Portions of this article are taken from Wikinews, which is licenced for use under the Creative Commons Deed Attribution 2.5
About Robert J. Ballantyne
Robert J.Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Artsculture.ca. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star.