Saturday, February 16, 2008

HD-DVD Dead: Toshiba pulls the plug

Engadget is reporting today that the Toshiba and Microsoft-backed HD-DVD format has finally been put out of its misery, with Toshiba set to shutdown the money-losing business after a string of high-profile blows to the format, most recently with rental companies Netflix and Blockbuster declaring exclusive support for Blu-Ray. The competing Sony Blu-Ray format can now officially be declared the winner in this format war, marking one of the first times that a proprietary Sony storage format has been successful (Betamax, UMD anyone?).

The loss is a huge blow to the companies that have invested millions in HD-DVD, including Microsoft, who supplies a HD-DVD addon for the XBox 360. Not integrating the HD-DVD format into the machine itself must now seem a masterstroke to the Redmond giant, who will presumably soon announce a replacement Blu-Ray compatible addon.

So what of the millions of early-adopting gamers who had backed the unsuccessful HD-DVD format and invested in a player? Well there may be little choice for gamers that want to continue to purchase or rent the latest high-def movies but to pony up for a new player. Nobody wins in a format war, certainly not consumers, but this reporter is happy to see that the war is finally over.

Toshiba Pulling the plug on HD-DVD already? Yup, it's over. (Engadget)