Toshiba officially discontinues HD-DVD
Japanese electronics firm Toshiba announced on Tuesday at 5 p.m. local time (8 a.m. GMT) that the HD DVD format it supported had failed to establish itself on the market, and will be discontinued. "We have reviewed the overall strategy for the HD DVD and concluded that it is best that we not further develop, manufacture, and market HD DVD players and recoders", explained Atsutoshi Nishida, president and CEO of the Toshiba Corporation. He said that this decision was a reaction to difficult changes on the market in the past few days. Nishida emphasized that the decision was unfortunate for the company and all the more unfortunate for consumers.
The HD DVD format now has virtually no chance of survival; Toshiba was practically the only remaining provider of standalone players. The DV-HD805 is a replica, while the inexpensive model sold by Venturer was never released globally and has already disappeared from a number of US shops. Microsoft, which offers an HD DVD drive for its Xbox 360, has not yet reacted; Redmond has been slow to react to reports about the pending demise of the HD DVD.
Toshiba has not announced that it would be producing any players for the competing Blu-ray Disc format so far. Toshiba's CEO said that his firm will definitely not be producing players that support both formats. LG and Samsung already offer such devices in the US, though it is unlikely that they will ever be sold in Europe. Owners of HD DVDs will therefore have to make sure they own one of the Toshiba players already manufactured. Consumers don't have much longer to get one – Toshiba says that it will be discontinuing shipments completely at the end of March and leaving the HD DVD market completely. While Toshiba will also be discontinuing production of HD DVD drives for PCs, the firm says it does not rule out future production of notebooks with HD DVD drives "to meet future demand". Nishida reassured all buyers of HD DVD devices that they could continue to rely on full support and service.