Blu-ray prevails in high definition disc war

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Formats supported by U.S. studios (size relative to 2007 box office receipts)

The battle between the two high definition optical disc formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD has ended after sole HD DVD manufacturer Toshiba has announced it will no longer produce HD DVD players.

In a press conference yesterday, Toshiba president Atsutoshi Nishida announced and confirmed that Toshiba will terminate the R&D plan on HD-DVD products. The key issue to force Toshiba terminating their HD-DVD R&D plan was Warner Bros., who changed their R&D plan from HD-DVD to Blu-ray on January 4.

In what is a reverse of the VHS vs Betamax format war, Sony's Blu-ray has come out on top with the backing of major studios and retailers such as Warner Bros. but also Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Netflix, and Blockbuster who announced they would only support Blu-ray exclusively this past month.

Even though Toshiba is currently about to change their R&D plan from HD-DVD to NAND flash drives and micro drives and plan to build two factories in Iwate, Japan, the company will provide the maintenance service on discs and players in the future 8 years.

Sony bundled Blu-ray into their PlayStation 3 game system. Microsoft's competing Xbox 360, comes with a $200 HD DVD add-on player, whose fate is now undetermined with the demise of HD DVD. Microsoft has said they will wait for what Toshiba has to say.

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