Toshiba finally ejects HD DVD

It's official: Toshiba has dropped support for Blu-ray's rival in the next-gen format war and will cease hardware production by April.

Toshiba's struggle to promote the HD DVD format has become increasing arduous in recent months. First, Warner Bros. announced it was going Blu-ray exclusive, while rumours persisted that HD-DVD-only studios Universal and Paramount were also jumping ship.

HD DVD: 2003-2008

Only days ago, another nail was driven into the coffin as US retail giant Wal-Mart announced it would stop selling the format and associated hardware, while Toshiba was forced to deny widely reported rumours it was about to drop its own format.

Today, rumour turned into fact when Toshiba has confirmed its withdrawal from the HD DVD hardware market. In a statement released this morning, the Japanese manufacturer announced it is planning to cease production of its stand-alone players and recorders by April and will evaluate the demand for HD DVD laptop drives from there.

The company said, "Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same time frame, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements. The company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand."

Toshiba also reiterated its commitment to DVD, stating that "this decision will not impact on Toshiba's commitment to standard DVD, and the company will continue to market conventional DVD players and recorders."

At the time of publishing, Microsoft was unavailable for comment, as was Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. It remains unclear what the future is for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player or if the company now plans to back Blu-ray, which it has alluded to in the past. In a statement released yesterday, Microsoft commented, "We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace."

The Xbox-maker also said it would wait for an official word from Toshiba before it decided on the fate of the Xbox 360 HD DVD player and said the outcome would not affect its future plans for the Xbox 360.

Written By

Former staff writer for GameSpot.co.uk, now marketing guy for a certain major online retailer....

Discussion

1010 comments
slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

Ive been looking more into the HD dvd recently and I do not know how i missed this the first time round but the HD dvd has better clarity than a blu ray dvd, for non belivers check one of those leaflets in your normal dvd cases about blu ray dvds and it says that it is 5 times better than a dvd, where as a HD dvd has 6 times the quality of a dvd (for who has a 360 HD dvd drive check the box). Yes I do know that the blu ray has 20gb more space in total but would you of prefered better quality or spare space doing nothing except for MGS 4. I do think that the HD dvd should come back i know its been dead for a while now but i really think it should and Microsoft should implement it into the 360 and with people with a 360 already they should take it to there local game store and swap it for a 360 with a HD drive in it and then the 360 will have a longer life rather than waiting till they overfill a dvd to the extent of a 5 disc game and have to bring out a new system because of it.

SUPER-MAN_2005
SUPER-MAN_2005

Blah Blah Blah...360's are still selling more than ps3 regardless.

Dante200X
Dante200X

itisa87 "Not long ago, haters also claimed Blu-ray was doomed and that the inclusion of blu-ray in the PS3 was the biggest mistake." nuff said Agreed. I lol'd. Remember, for the 100th time in this thread, Sony does not own Blu-Ray. Actually they do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc_Association "The "Blu-ray Disc Founder group" was started in May 2002 by nine leading electronic companies: Sony, **** Pioneer, Philips, Thomson, LG Electronics, Hitachi, Sharp, and Samsung. Spearheaded by Sony Corporation"

blue-peregrine
blue-peregrine

*Does a Jerry Springer-like cheer* Blu-ray! Blu-ray! Blu-ray! Blu-ray!

blue-peregrine
blue-peregrine

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

itisa87
itisa87

"Not long ago, haters also claimed Blu-ray was doomed and that the inclusion of blu-ray in the PS3 was the biggest mistake." nuff said

chrisj
chrisj

finally ......those xbox fan boys can shut the F£$* up about how point less and exspensive blurays are....becauseits still cheaper than getting a hole new drive for the xbox. oh BMWPro77 i'm with you ....Transformers

Serious
Serious

Time to explain why this is great news for Sony. First, its a great selling point for the PS3. With the great digital conversion on Feb 19, 2009 that's approximately one year away. That's when all regular analog tvs stop working without getting a digital antenna or a new HDTV. All of the large electronics chains are pushing HDTV over antennas and with HD DVD out of the way they can now push Blu ray players to go with them. Many hold outs who still have PS2s will find getting a Blu Ray player and backwards compatible gaming console a great deal the second argument is that Microsoft will make a Blu Ray add on. however if they did they would have to go to the Blu Ray Assoc. Seeing that it was Sony's PS3 that is largely responsible for this victory. Their Partners might very well deny Microsoft partition for a license to the technology for another year out of loyalty to Sony. Some of you have said that's ridiculous. No one would say no to that type of windfall. As of December 18, 2007 the Xbox HD-DVD player has sold over 269,000 units world wide. We aren't talking huge numbers here. And besides who's to say that those same consumers after taking a bath with the HD DVD player are going to pony up for a Blu Ray external player. Most of this Blu Ray add on talk is based on Peter Moore's Jan 2006 comments, that if the format war was lost to blu ray they would make a blu ray add on. which was later denied by Microsoft. Peter Moore spoke out of turn. Yet he had placed this gem of fiction in many of the fans head that losing the format war wasn't a big deal. Why would Microsoft not want to get a blu ray add on? Easy cause it would mean MS would have to pay for the privilage of adding the blu ray and and that would mean that Sony and their partners would actually be getting part of Xbox Blu Ray profits. However since this add on didn't sell well I doubt MS would feel the need to get one. What about internal? Well again it would require asking a former competitor to allow you to join up. But it would also show at the PS3 was made correctly from the start. I was the first to have the larger HDD, HDMI port and Now Blu Ray. Next the 360 would need to add a Web Browser, card readers, bulit in wifi and a shiny gloss finish. It all comes down to Microsoft cutting corners. They didn't wait the proper time to research and develop the Xbox 360. To take future tech in to consideration. They neglected the Bluetooth,HDMI, Internet connectivity, HDTV, And a HD movie format with a large storage capacity . They wanted a console that last about 5 years before asking you to fork over more money for another system like they do for their Windows OS. Unlike Sony's stance that 10 years is better for their consumers and developers in the market. There is no doubt that this is a big for the console wars and anyone that says different is ignoring history. It was the PS2s ability to play DVDs that helped it outsell the Dreamcast. And it will be the PS3's being the only console to have Blu ray as a format and movie play back that will help it win this war.

BMWPro77
BMWPro77

Transformers on Blu Ray here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

k079
k079

@ferroussoul: "The problem with this argument is that HDTV penetration is at best, roughly the same percent" But this problem is shared with digital HD download. So that's why I think that DVD is Blu-ray's biggest enemy. Sony shouldn't lose sleepless night worrying about digital download.

MedevilDragon
MedevilDragon

This sucks, I've seen both Blu-ray and HD DVD running on top HD TV's and saw that HD DVD had better picture quality, plus HD DVD has worked perfectly on my TV, when my PS3 Blu-ray is still showing in sick green colour that I can't fix.

eryk1
eryk1

I knew it!!!!

MrQuaker
MrQuaker

Bought the 360 HD-DVD player for 70$ from a friend... bring on the bargain prices! Looks like I'm a winner on this one (I'll buy a blu-ray player in a couple of years... if they don't come out with a purple-ray player for 3402p tv's)

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

It's settled. The dream has got into an end for Toshiba...poor those who bought HD DVD players...

earth07
earth07

I own a 360 but I am still kind of glad Blu-Ray won out, I think it will help the future of gaming in general, but it will not have any impact any time soon. I don't really care about the movie aspect of it right now, I got it for the games. Anyway, the 360 will have a Blu-Ray add on in a few months(or so I've read in a couple of places) anyway, not that I plan on buying one. And the next-gen xbox will come with an internal Blu-Ray player. Remember, for the 100th time in this thread, Sony does not own Blu-Ray.

Sonicgod
Sonicgod

That whole war was pointless. Toshiba should have just accepted the partnership offer in 2003 with sony since the formats are almost exactly the same thre is like a %5 differance between the Tech and format of the file system on the disc. A partnership would have been more porfit for both ove the years and we would not have to put up with this. Both formats are exactly the same thing with little variants in the technology practically the exact same lasers with minor changes, this they both started from the same blue laser research. So change the files systems/video decoders(decoders there the same 99% of the time too) on the disc and throw a logo and box and sell people the exact samething from two fighting company since 2003 that worked great. DVD/CD was a partnership with lots of hardware makers there was no problem since they new they was all ending up with the exact same thing in the end Profit up, easy of use up, nobody had to choose. This is Just like FLash memory cards are all the almost exact same thing but sony and sandisk insist on having "memory stick" and "SD cards" so all your devices have 1 slot or waste space having 4 slots for all the flash memory cards shapes/hardware. And sony put SD memory card slots on PS3 adding to the cost and pointless of that. The only reason I even got any blu ray anything is ebcause sony gave it away free with any PS3 purchase so since I got it around I am going to use it but I would not buy any Hd-dvd or bluray with my own cash if they was going to go on with that pointless war. That war slowed down high Data storage disc progress by years the drives could have been throw into a lot more they wasted time money, the could have been everywhere and everybody could have been making them. I don't care what one wins there the same thing diffrent box slight changes, but there had to have been one..

ferroussoul
ferroussoul

@k079 The problem with this argument is that HDTV penetration is at best, roughly the same percent. While HDTV is definitely on the rise, so is high-speed internet. Movies also tend to follow the trend that music paves for them, and right now music has clearly gone to digital download.

k079
k079

I think we shouldn't look at this in such a narrow scale, and start thinking of it in a global context. Digital download may be successful one day but even if it become the norm, it still would have a very hard time getting market penetration. About 50% of US households have high-speed internet. So right of the bat, you are selling to half the US population. Not only that, but if you think in term of Global scale, many countries do not even have good enough infrastructure to get stable enough download speed to make digital download feasible. So even if digital download were to take off, it is limited in the size of the market. People in most parts of the world can't just walk down the street to and buy a high-speed download. So its unlikely to take off in a grand scale like DVD or VHS....not for a very very long time. So ya if you talk about US, maybe digital download is an alternative, but to about 90% of the world, it isn't even an option. So Sony should really spend about 99.99% of its time thinking of how to surpass DVD, which is the major issue, and not worry so much about digital download.

GN3RAL_KARL
GN3RAL_KARL

bardkieran You are absolutely genius. Your prediction is right on with my prediction. Digital distribution through downloads WILL take over this physical media war through use of lossless high-compression content onto large storage devices.

Waskallywabbit
Waskallywabbit

Autolycus has a point about technology and success in gaming. In the last 25 years there have been plenty of home video game systems that were technically superior but failed to sell more than the competition. The last generation was evidence of this, as the PS2 was underpowered compared to the Gamecube and Xbox, yet is the best selling non-portable console of all time. Yes, the PS3 has a lot going for it under the hood, but this does not translate to sales, which is the voice of the consumer. Sorry, but while everyone is calling for 2008 to be the "Year of the PS3", I think everyone is in denial about how far behind the system is in the United States. Oh, and bardkieran, truly being educated implies the ability to not only express yourself in understanding, but to pass this along to others in a way they can comprehend. Being a db proves nothing about your intellect.

Autolycus
Autolycus

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Autolycus
Autolycus

Microsoft doesnt care about HD-DVD or BLU-Ray the 360 can hve either or. but from now on, ill just DL from xbox live cause i wont buy into blu-ray to have it outdated on the market in 2 years.

bardkieran
bardkieran

@chinesehaohot - Yeah, actually it is a "big f&*&ing deal" as you say. It proves I got a proper education, unlike yourself. Either you don't know how to read or you know nothing about technology. 3-5 years is a lot of time for technology. In that time, your 5 mb/sec connection will likely be around 100 mb per second, or a gb every 10 seconds. That'd mean you'll be able to download that movie in under 2 minutes. I think that is a reasonable wait time.

Despite what you might think, Sony does not control the internet nor most movie studios. Thus, Sony will not have a say in the matter of what studios decide to release their movies as digital download. As for piracy, everything is victim to piracy, especially in places like China (as your name implies the connection). You will never totally stop hackers, spam or piracy - that's just a way of life in a digital age. Point is, digital distribution is cheaper for the studios (no physical goods needed), easier to promote, and there's no overhead and bulk stock when a movie doesn't sell too well. The game industry is already working to perfect a digital distribution method, the music industry already fully embraced it, and the movie industry will be the last, when the other two have shown its worth. Its simply a matter of time, like it or not.

Now that you've been educated, you might want to learn an instrument so you can aspire to rise to my level.

Waskallywabbit
Waskallywabbit

nuked, I agree with you. I feel the same about my 360 drive. Bring on the bargain bins! In regards to the issues of consoles and the format war, Sony had so much more to lose than Toshiba or Microsoft in the format war. Those who know are saying that Sony threw a crap-ton of money at studios and distributors to support Blu-Ray. With the drive being the major price point in the PS3, it was do or die. Microsoft said from the beginning that they didn't believe the format war should effect their machine, therefor they gave consumers the choice. I guess they didn't care enough to spend almost a billion dollars lobbying studios just to keep their format alive. For the flame happy fanboys out there, this is not a victory for Sony in regards to the PS3, at least over the 360. While the news means the PS3 is still viable, it has no major impact on the 360 whatsoever. Besides, I'll be laughing all the way to the store when I buy my external Blu-Ray drive for my 360 anyway...

nuked1775
nuked1775

I don't know how you can say you feel sorry for people that bought a HD DVD player. I bought mine for my 360 for $200, which I use as my regular dvd player too, and now I can get a ton HD movies for dirt cheap. Its not like my player is going to stop working.

jaredrichards3
jaredrichards3

I like the name HD DVD better than the blue-ray name, but i guess the better format has won this time. unlike the betamax vhs battle. i feel sorry for people who purchased an HD DVD player too. it's a good move for toshiba to pull the plug while they can, the blue-ray format holds more information and there's talk that 100 + gig discs may be available in the near future with the blue-ray format. as a consumer i could see this coming, because no video store i visited had any HD DVD's just blue-ray and i only ever saw a few HD DVD's in the shops as well

monkeyd_93
monkeyd_93

thats another hit for ms, costing them money trying to sell leftover hd 360's and making new add-ons/blu-ray 360's. the ps3 and wii are doing well now, but it wont be too long before ms has to decide what to do to increase profit

Yuna08
Yuna08

R.I.P. HD DVD. It fought hard till the end, it was a brave warrior.

chinesehaohot
chinesehaohot

According to someone who has "graduated college with a bachelor's in music" (WOW BIG FU$King deal!) it is easy to download a 3-5min audio track, but in order to download a 1080P movie, just the movie along will be around 10 GB, I've tried it, my internet speed is 5MB and it still took me a day. Point is, like it or not, HD digital content is NOT going to become the norm in three to five years. Even when the technology is ready, the company whom has invested huge amount of into marketing their optical media disc will NOT make the technology available right away. They have to worry about the piracy issues, the cost to switch/abandon equipment issues...etc. Maybe you should have get a BA in marketing.

David_Kniffin
David_Kniffin

Well, I'm glad this finally happened. From the very beginning the signs of BluRay winning were there. Anyone who thought HD-DVD was going to prevail was kidding themselves. The format war was just hurting us, not PS3 and not 360. Now that there's an official winner, we will all eventually benefit because when more people jump on board, prices will start going down. PS3 users are obviously already set by default, but I'm sure 360 won't be missing out. As was said before, Sony doesn't completely own BluRay and even Microsoft hinted that they might provide a BluRay player if there is a demand for it. So this isn't a matter of Sony/PS3 winning or 360/Toshiba "losing", it's about all of us winning finally!

Chuck1289
Chuck1289

Haha look at all the sony fanboys thinking that one week in slip ups could matter? The PS3 may outsell the 360 one day but the 360 will always be the better console. END OF

sirvampalot
sirvampalot

I bet any money that MS will have a blu-ray add for the 360 in the next 12 months.I hope that everybody know's that Sony does not own blu-ray.

delta3074
delta3074

looks like ms made the right thing putting normal dvd rom drives in the 360 and they were right when they said this would not effect them i don't think that storage will be a problem for games for some time and by the time it is games will either come on two disks (which i'm cool with) or disk games will be a thing of the past (downloadable games)

skee_uk
skee_uk

this is good news for ps3, honestly you cant really think that 360 will continue to lead in sales for long ps3 has outsold 360 in the US this week, hopefully that will continue sorry ppl the only games i will ever buy for my 360 now are exclusives only, i can only think of gaiden 2, gears 2, and lost oddysy that i want up2 now go ps3 all the way

marco0798
marco0798

i have a very simple plan to bring back the fight microsoft should make all microsoft prorams non blue ray compatible lol

Hector_01
Hector_01

@ plutonium21 Some of you still don't get that this is not Sony's technology. Blu-Ray was created by the Blu-Ray Disc Association. Sony was apart of that association and gets alot of credit b/c it made the first Blu-Ray player and the PS3 is Blu-Ray compatible. Sony makes up only 1/18 of the board of directors for BDA and has no authority to ban people from using it. BDA (especially board members HP and Dell) would be nuts to ban Microsoft from making their own players. Xbox will most likely have an add-on in the future. I agree with you on this one. Sony don't own blu ray at all. Infact blu ray has been around quite awhile. Roughly around 2003 in japan i think was when they where sold as professional data storage. It was too expensive or some crap for an average consumer at the time i think so it didnt take off until a few years ago. Anyway microsoft will probably make a bluray player for the xbox 360 and thats that.

squarejp
squarejp

DullBozer or BullDozer, Me too but I reword it as Internet download or streaming believer. Because all Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, Holographic storage device are digital too. haha.

niteowl74
niteowl74

Blue Ray will get replaced at some point as well. It happens to every format. Digital downloads will more than likely be the future but not for a while. Perhaps those holographic disks I've read about will replace Blue Ray. Can you imagine a game on a 200gb disk?

Vorador47
Vorador47

everyone seem to think this is some kind of bad thing for MS. they can just make a blu ray add-on for the 360. that and MS still make money off of Blu Ray anyway.

DullBozer
DullBozer

I agree with Taegre and Nosnitsttam, the only real exclusives we will see from now on will come either from MS, Nintendo or Sony, anything else will be either mutli platform or timed exclusives, which are kinda ironic as the late version often comes with added material and improvements. As for HD DVD and Blue Ray, i don't believe in either format but one had to bite the dust first. Im a digital delivery believer whether you like it or not.

bardkieran
bardkieran

CaptainHerlock - On the front of not appreciating rock n roll, I graduated college with a bachelor's in music, so I've a deep founding of musical roots and in fact, can play a lot of the jazz standards from back in the day. Which also could bring me into a long heated argument on the Beatles (I cannot claim to admire them as you do). But I digress. You ask what is happening to the soundtrack of your life? Simple, it's now the playlist of your life. The convenience factor is greater with digital content, especially with music. Set up a home network, put a mini factor computer in your living room, hook it up to your surround sound, now you have a centralized hub for a networked jukebox. Very convenient. Set a playlist and let it rip for the duration of the party.

Now, I'm not saying that you're wrong for wanting physical content, what I'm saying is, it WILL be torn from your cold, dead hands. That's just how technology goes.Take the new regulations for TV in 2009. No more analog tv for anyone. Phase everyone out into the next generation or leave them in the dust. That's how technology works. I'm sure you can't go out and load up games from your 486 and run them on your current machine (at least not without some form of emulator). Point is, like it or not, digital content is going to become the norm long before BluRay can even get a solid foothold in people's media cabinets.

In regards to stores going out of business, what I was inferring was that if a company cannot adapt and find something else to sell, they have failed themselves to provide business. Yet, that wouldn't happen to the stores you mentioned, because they have a slew of non-media products to sell.

Anyway, back on point, I'm simply stating that the writing's on the wall, and all optical media will be for burning/backup purposes only in due time. Think about it, even if there was still a physical product t - when the day comes that solid state disks are shrunk down and made very price effective, having games released on a SSD drivewould be great, because you can download game updates directly to your disk, and SSD are highly reliable. No need for a seperate HD.

-CheeseEater-
-CheeseEater-

w00t. I can't wait for SD Cards to own Discs...it's about darn time flash memory fights back!

Pablo620
Pablo620

Nosnitsttam, well PS3 sales are going to go up because many people who are in the market for a Blu Ray player now will choose the PS3. And in the whole PS3 vs 360 thing, Sony couldve made the PS3 price and launch date match with the 360 which DEF would make the PS3 the leader in console sales but Sony did the right thing by releasing it at a higher price to include Blu Ray. They end up making WAY more money by having the High Def DVD industry rather than having the leading console. Hey, in my predictions, they will eventually have both. Well, if people start realizing how boring the Wii is

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

well said, Taegre. exclusives in general are a dying breed. very few companies see the profit in exclusive games (look at capcom with DMC 4) and microsfot/sony usually have to pay off the developers to get exclusive rights or even a head start (sony with the GTA series last gen). i do not see how this, in any way, gives the PS3 the upper hand. It might help out sony since they finally have a new format that hasn't failed, and they now run unopposed in the HD format category, but the PS3 has nothing to do with this.

sickside6
sickside6

it was gonna die anyway. the sooner the better

Taegre
Taegre

mellowguero "This gives the PS3 the upper hand. Imagine how many developers are going to make exclusives for HD" What kind of developer would make a game exclusive simply for HD? We've heard developers say again and again that HD has made it unnecessarily difficult to create games this generation. All the features, content, and time they have to abandon just so some guy with a 50-inch plasma doesn't write up a bad review. Same applies to movies. Really, the only people who truly benefit from such enforcement of HD are the 2,000 or so people in this country with wall-sized HDTVs with HD speakers lining every angle around their couches. 90% of which serves no meaningful purpose than overcompensation.

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

bardkieran, no I'm clutching my vinyl records because they are more fun to collect. Large liner notes, cutouts original copies of Sgt. Pepper, a large fold out posters in original copies of the White Album and Wings Over America, detailed track listings of who wrote what song, album art, the booklet I got with Cheap Trick "Live At Budokan", the gatefold sleeve with Beatles for Sale and Let It Be, The Raspberries album Side 3 that's shaped like a bushell of raspberries, and all in a package you can pick up and hold in your hands that you feel the flood of nostalgia when you look at taking you back to the time, place and person you were when that album was released. And most importantly, entire Beatle catalog at my fingertips. Try finding all that on an MP3 files. Then again maybe I don't expect you to get it because the younger crowd doesn't have the same appreciation for rock n' roll that my generation does. Music and movies have become disposable commoditites and there's little to no reverance that people have for them these days. And that's because it's been reduced to ambiguous files that you download over the internet at the push of a button. It's no longer the "soundtrack of your life". It's now simply data. Sterile, banal, indistiguishable save for the amount of megabytes it takes up. And to me that's the saddest things of all. I've been saying that you always hear from the younger guys "you don't need it". But I say I WANT it. And more importantly, what about what the consumer wants. My "touting" of the past failures of downloadable content proves one thing; that CONSUMERS WANT a physical product. So I'm sorry but the Microsoft pitch of "you're going to want digital distribution" doesn't fly with a lot of people. I also find it odd that someone can justify that Wal Mart shouldn't exist if they can't cope with digital distribution. In fact it's Wal Mart that is currently keeping the music and game industry afloat with supplying a physical product to consumers. The game and music industry knows how valuable Wal Mart and it's stores are to their cause. Do you or anyone else really believe that they'd just chuck it all tomorrow?

plutonium21
plutonium21

Some of you still don't get that this is not Sony's technology. Blu-Ray was created by the Blu-Ray Disc Association. Sony was apart of that association and gets alot of credit b/c it made the first Blu-Ray player and the PS3 is Blu-Ray compatible. Sony makes up only 1/18 of the board of directors for BDA and has no authority to ban people from using it. BDA (especially board members HP and Dell) would be nuts to ban Microsoft from making their own players. Xbox will most likely have an add-on in the future.