We weren’t expecting the announcement from Toshiba for another week, but it’s official, HD DVD is now discontinued. In the press release from Toshiba, they stated that after reviewing their strategy for HD DVD, they decided to stop development, manufacturing, and marketing of HD DVD players and recorders. President and CEO of Toshiba was quoted in the announcement saying, “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.” Next up? Not Blu-ray. For now they’ll be focusing on standard DVD players and recorders and have no intention of backing their former competitor.
Now here’s where things get a little tricky. Toshiba says that their intention is to reduce shipments of the players and recorders to their retail channels and completely end shipment by the end of March 2008. This means that unknowing consumers who don’t keep up with the latest in the tech world could easily end up buying a HD DVD player, especially if stores put the players on clearance in the coming weeks. All of the major retailers are still selling them, of course, and unless Toshiba volunteers to reimburse the retailers for their inventory, they’ll probably do everything they can to sell as many as possible. On the bright side, those consumers would still be able to use the machine as a DVD player, and they’ll probably be able to get their hands on significantly reduced HD DVD movies.
Thanks for the tip CoryC