It’s official. HD-DVD is dead. Blu-ray wins the format war.

Toshiba put out a press release this morning:

TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress.

“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 says they have no interest in producing Blu-ray players at this point and it sounds like they may try to pull a sour grapes by focusing on HD video downloads instead. Which is fine as some folks are predicting that as being the Next Big Thing sure to make Blu-ray’s time at the top a short one.

11 thoughts on “It’s official. HD-DVD is dead. Blu-ray wins the format war.

  1. So my big question has been how is this going to affect Xbox360 sales, or just the 360 in general? One of their big selling points was the HD-DVD player.

  2. Games and graphics were a bigger selling point for the Xbox 360.  The Xbox 360 HD DVD player was never adopted by a majority of owners.  If it had been, this format war could still be raging.  Of course, given the 360’s early sales lead on the PS3, if it’d come with HD DVD capability standard, HD DVD might have already won.

    I don’t think HD downloads are going to become particularly prevalent in 5, maybe even 10 years.  Some cable company ISPs seem to be moving towards tiered pricing according to bandwidth (along with throttling bandwidth for heavy users), which is the opposite of what needs to happen to make 1080p downloads a reality anytime soon.

  3. As Benior said, I seriously doubt this will have much impact on Xbox 360 sales though it’ll kill sales of the add-on HD-DVD drive.

    I also don’t think HD downloads are going to kill off physical media anytime soon. Not so long as DRM continues to cripple the files.

  4. Wow, Sony actually won a format war… mark the calendar!

    I did not get the HD DVD player for my 360 partly because I was/am backing Blu-Ray and because I am not going to give Microsoft $200+ bucks for something the Playstation includes!

    On another Microsoft front, I installed Ubuntu 7.10 last night and I can honestly say that they perfected wireless internet, my only hurdle… Microsoft is now 80% dead to me!

    Now if I can just get work to put it on the next server!! raspberry

  5. I did not get the HD DVD player for my 360 partly because I was/am backing Blu-Ray and because I am not going to give Microsoft $200+ bucks for something the Playstation includes!

    Not only that but the PS3 actually uses the Bluray capacity (25-50GB) for games while the 360 is locked into the low DVD (4.7-8.5GB) capacity. The 360’s HD-DVD drive is/was used solely for movie playback.

  6. From what I understand Blu-ray has better copy protection than HD-DVD, and that is why the format died.  Yes, you guessed it … HD-DVD died because its DRM wasn’t good enough.  The format was cracked the day after the first movies were put on the shelves.  Of course, none of the studios seem to learn that there is no DRM that’s uncrackable.  Blu-ray will be cracked and pirates just like HD-DVD … in fact I think its already happened.  Thus, DRM is a waste of time and money for studios to develop and maintain because its a none failure.  But, this is Hollywood where talking about, they never learn from anything.

  7. Yes, check out the Torrent sites and you can find many 1080p videos. Unfortunately, most all are in the very shitty .MKV format.

  8. If Toshiba plays their cards right, HD-DVD W/R drives could be useful for computer backups.  It would be ironic if HD-DVD became a computer data storage format—backing up movies stored on hard drives.

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