HD DVD - RIP (March 31, 2006 - February 19, 2008)
Recent events have signalled the imminent death of Toshiba's HD DVD format but as of today, it is now officially official.
At a press conference held in Tokyo, Toshiba announced that it will no longer develop, manufacture or market HD DVD players and recorders.
Toshiba President and CEO, Atsutoshi Nishida, said:
"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. 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."
During a Q&A session that followed, Nishida-san offered few details as to what would become of Toshiba's Aomori HD DVD factory but did confirm that the company currently has "no plans at all" to adopt Blu-ray.
HD DVD's short spell in the market accumulated an estimated 730,000 units sold worldwide. Today's announcement will prove a bitter pill to swallow for early adopters of the format, but Toshiba believes it faces little to no risk of class action lawsuits.
Though HD DVD is now well and truly behind us, I recently posed the question "Will Blu-ray prevail?" and indeed, the question still remains. The format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray has reached its conclusion, but the format war between Blu-ray and DVD is still going strong. Not to mention the war between Digital Distribution and everything else, that one is still getting started.
Official press release: Toshiba Announces Discontinuation of HD DVD Businesses