Toshiba heads toward HD DVD launch

Wedding off

Clear some extra space on the video shelf. The backers of Blu-ray and HD DVD are pushing ahead with product launches after failing to reach an agreement on merging the two next generation DVD formats.

Both camps had been discussing how to produce a single standard since earlier this year, with discussions punctuated by regular spats before collapsing all together.

Toshiba said this week it will move its HD DVD standard towards a launch, after talks with Blu-ray backer Sony proved fruitless. Sony, presumably, will shrug off the failure of the talks and press on with its own launch. According to reports, both companies have suggested talks can restart, but with both formats due to appear late this year, corporate name-calling appears more likely.

The announcement that both sides were pushing on regardless sparked the usual comparisons with the VHS Betamax wars in the early days of VCRs. However, some observers have pointed out that it is more likely that multi-standard devices will quickly proliferate. In this case, the ultimate winner will be decided by content providers and consumers.®