Official: Toshiba discontinues HD DVD
No We surrender
Toshiba has abandoned HD DVD "following recent major changes in the market", it announced this morning. The company spun the failure of its favourite format as a move made to strengthen the industry.
The consumer electronics giant said it will "no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders".
It will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players to retail channels, aiming to stop shipping product by the end of March.
Consumers who've bought into HD DVD will continue to be supported, Toshiba said. However, we have to question the long-term availability of software updates since the format arguably now has no real future.
Toshiba also said it will continue to try and work with the companies - Microsoft, HP, Universal and Paramount among them - who helped it promote the HD DVD format.
However, the time had come for a change of strategy, it admitted.
“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.
Where will Toshiba go now? In its statement, it highlighted the other technologies it's driving, including Flash storage, tiny hard drives, wireless and "next-generation CPUs" - the latter a reference to what it's doing with the Cell processor it co-developed with Sony and IBM. Earlier this year, it demoed an HDTV powered by Cell.
Toshiba didn't address ongoing development of HD DVD drives for computers, and it's always possible the format will live on as a data-storage technology. The company had 51GB HD DVD discs in the lab, and these might yet be fully accepted into the HD DVD standard by the DVD Forum, the organisation that oversees both the DVD and HD DVD standards.
But the boost today's news will have given the Blu-ray Disc camp means it's unlikely HD DVD will have much of a future even here.
And it is good news for hi-def. Sony's victory may stoke sales of HD discs after shoppers held back purchases because of uncertainty over which technology would prevail. US retailers plan to stop selling HD DVDs after Warner Home Entertainment, the largest DVD publisher, said last month it would release its films only on Blu-ray.
It's a bloody optical disk and people are actually upset about it going away? Here's a heads up for you, both formats are complete shite.
I have Blu-ray and I've watched HD-DVD. Not a fucking difference between the two. Both are severely limited in capacity and suffer from the whim of mastering, which means the quality varies depending on the competence of those creating the original copy.
As for crying for Toshiba and hounding Sony? Are you fucking mad? They're both huge conglomerates from the same country, and the difference between them is one makes a few consoles.
The only reason that people got caught up in hissy fits over a new generation of optical media having two formats is because they have movies on them.
This was almost as sad and redundant as the anally retentive fights over whether +r/rw dvds are better than -r/rw dvds.
Oh and who can forget the long hours campaigning on behalf of CD+R and CD-R, and who can forget how vital it was in the eventual overwhelming success of Video CD that one format came out on top...
My god, I've even seen some moron writing about the "people's format". Fuck off, there is no "people's format", there's only fat fucking CEO's format. And while we're limiting ourselves to something as crappy as optical media to watch movies, who gives a fuck whether one or even both disappears.
Hm... I hope this means the PS3 will benefit from a sales surge.
I know I do not have the dosh to buy a blu-ray player (going at $920 here in Mexico) but I might buy a PS3 sometime in the next 3 months ($600 and dropping).
And I'm as sure as HELL not buying a 360. I'm glad M$ got hit by this... they stuck iHD on HD-DVD, so I'm pretty sure there was some hidden "Windows-only" tech in there, its too large an opportunity not to tie-in future users...
The PS3 may offer the solution you're looking for. There is supposed to be a dual freeview dongle type add on coming for the PS3 which will give it PVR capabilities.
Change out the 40gb laptop drive for a 250gb model and you'll have yourself a single unit capable of:
Playing blu rays (and capable of being updated with BR specification firmware updates)
Games console (obviously)
dual Freeview PVR with a nice (and upgradable) capacity...