Toshiba is about to say farewell to HD DVD after a long hard battle. HD DVD was originally developed and designed to be the successor to regular DVDs, and they officially launched in the United States back on April 18, 2006. Their biggest problem all along has been Sony’s Blu-ray, their direct competitor which launched a few months after they did. The battle between the two has been a fierce one and both had their allies for quite some time. It seems as though the biggest shift came in January right before CES and then it quickly went downhill from there.
Toshiba hasn’t officially announced their decision to end HD DVD, but sources inside the company say it’s coming. Reuters reports that someone at Toshiba told them anonymously that they have “entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business.” The formal announcement is expected next week. This news has some people celebrating because finally, the format war (which has been compared to the Betamax-VHS battle of the 80s) is over. Others aren’t too happy because they invested money in HD DVD players as well as movies and at this point, those players will be about useless.
Over the last several months, there has been a lot in the news regarding the battle. At different points, it looked like HD DVD was on top. At other times, Blu-ray looked like it was the winner. Let’s take a look:
- Blockbuster lends support to Blu-ray (6-18-2007)
- Five Free Blu-ray Movies with Blu-ray Player Purchase (6-29-2007)
- Five Free Movies with Xbox HD DVD Player (7-26-2007)
- Paramount Chooses HD DVD Over Blu-ray (8-21-2007)
- Warner Brothers Says Adios to HD DVD (1-7-2008)
- Blu-ray Destined to be the HD Winner? (1-10-2008)
- Netflix Dumping HD DVD too? (2-11-2008)
- HD DVD… Another One Bites the Dust (2-15-2008)
It’s nice that there’s finally a clear winner, but we don’t believe Blu-ray is set to take-off like crazy. DVDs are still the preferred choice by the majority of people because they are more affordable. Blu-ray players are much more expensive, not to mention the Blu-ray discs themselves are pricier than regular DVDs. It’ll definitely take some time before Blu-ray is able to convince the masses to spend the money upgrading to a new player and new movies.
Rest in peace HD DVD.