Sunday, February 17, 2008

Toshiba withdraws, HD format war over



Toshiba will stop production of its ailing HD-DVD format, Japanese television station NHK reports.

The Blu-ray format now makes up 90 percent of the Japanese high-definition DVD market after winning last year's price war for DVD recorders and players.

Toshiba faced even more difficulty when the major movie studio, Warner Brothers Entertainment, announced that it planned to use only the Blu-ray format for its movie software.

The company said it will continue to sell HD-DVD products for a while but will stop further development of HD DVD. Meanwhile, it said its DVD factories in Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, would be closed.

Market observers said that Toshiba could suffer a loss of hundreds of millions of US dollars.

This ends the high definition DVD format war in favour of the competing Blu-ray standard, also incorporated in the PlayStation3. This should finally provide the console with a unique selling point. How soon Blu-ray can replace the standard DVD format remains to be seen, though.

EDIT Microsoft is planning to bring an external Blu-ray drive for their Xbox360 to market as early as May, Australian news site Smarthouse reports.
Insiders at Microsoft in the USA have told SmartHouse that Microsoft has already configured a standalone Blu-ray player that can be connected into an Xbox 360 and that subject to internal marketing and sales approvals the model could be on sale within 3 months.

The Company has also been working on a built in Blu-ray player however insiders are claiming that Microsoft see the HD format battle moving online with consumers offered 1080p movie and content files as a download as opposed to having to buy a HD DVD or Blu-ray disc.

Microsoft has said numerous times that its allegiance to HD-DVD was only contingent upon that format´s commercial success and it may indeed switch sides.

EDIT It is official: Toshiba is killing off its HD-DVD format.

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 timeframe, 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.


Source: NHK
Thanks to: Joystiq, Aika'svyse

18 comments:

ianwilgaus said...

This should help the PS3 gain some momentum, although are consumers ready to move on from DVD's? I have around 300 DVD's in my collection and about 50 of them are my fav which id consider replacing. But it does come at a hefty cost even if blu-ray disc where selling for the price of a standard dvd.

When the DVD format first arrived it gathered alot more buzz..not only did disc's take up less space, but! The picture was alot more better than the leap from DVD to blu-ray. Also taken into account downloading digital content through services like iTunes which is huge and each year is continuing to go from strenght to strenght! Is it worth paying all that money for a blu-ray disc just to then purchase it again through an iTunes type service?

M. Ferreira said...

This news saddens me greatly. I didn't buy into either format yet, but I was hoping for HD-DVD to win simply because it was a mature, complete format. Blu-Ray is still undergoing revisions and has a decent amount of time before players are cheap, and the spec hits a point that doesn't make all players on the market obsolete after six to twelve months.

However, even from the start, I thought that HD media was way too early for the market. Customers just don't care to spend another 10-15 dollars for the same movie that they can get on DVD for $20 on release day. With the war over, we'll see sales rise a bit, but if the VHS/DVD was has proven anything, it's that DVD's gonna be doing a LOT of kicking and screaming before any meaningful takeover begins.

Some Guy said...

I don’t think this was much of a surprise; the writing was on the wall for the past few months that it was only a matter of when Toshiba would throw in the towel. It would be difficult for any format to survive with very little CE and Studio support.

It seems that 2008 will be a much better year for the PS3 then 2007. Did anyone see the January NPD sales? This is the first time since launch it outsold the 360 in the US.

Wii: 274,000
PlayStation 3: 269,000
PlayStation 2: 264,000
Nintendo DS: 251,000
PlayStation Portable: 230,000
Xbox 360: 230,000

Anonymous said...

january sales meen diddlysqot the wii shipments were FOWN due to required wii stock in japan for wiifit and smash wii sales would be double or more than those you show above mii

APPLY COMMONSENCE TO THOSE NUMBERS
1 ITS JANUARY
2WII SHIPMENTS TO USA WILL RE INCREASE NOW AND ONWARDS
3SMASH AND WII FIT YET TO LOURNCH IN USA

PS3 HAS JUST ONE GOOD MONTH THATS ACCUALLY A ILUSION OF SORTS AS JANUARY FOLLOWS A MONTH OF CHRISTMAS SPENDING AND WII SHIPMENTS WERE LOW

ps3 shall do better but wii shall still totally dominate the ps3 is over allready

the whole bluray thing is retail and electrical companys FORCE FEEDING THE GLOBAL PUBLIC WITH A DEAD FORMAT discs that spin and red by lasers is soooooo LAST GEN it aint funny the future of media is solid state formats FLASH and ever increasing broadband speeds FACT

the whole bluray CONSPIRASY is just a way of us doing as we are told so sony and everyone else can force a market apone us thats infact TECHNICLY OBSOLETE its a way of maintaining the whole RETAIL MOVIE/MUSIC DISC sorry thats sooooooooooooooooooooooo 1980s it aint funny

vinyl became tape tape became disc disc became solid state SONY AND RETAILERS ARE TRING TO SLOW THAT DONE AND HOLD US BACK FOR THE SAKE OF UNFARE PROFIT

DISC IS OBSOLETE TECH FACT

ITS JUST ANOTHER PSP UMD FORMAT BULLSHIT THATS BEING RAMMED DOWN ARE THROATS

CARNT THE MASS CONSUMER WORK ANYTHING OUT FOR HIM/HERSELF ARE YOU ALL REALLY THAT FOOKING BRAINWASHED BY BULLSHITTING CORPERATIONS

DISC IS THE PAST MP4/4 IPOD AND RECORDING OF TV HAS CLEARLY PROVEN THAT FACT

SONY CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH THIS OPEN YOUR EYES YOU BRAINWASHED IMBASEAL CONSUMERS TO A DIRTY TRICKS CAMPAIN STEARING YOU IN THE FACE

THERE IS NO FORMAT WAR BETWEEN HD DVD AND BLURAY

AS BOTH FORMATS ARE ALLREADY OBSOLETE TO A PERSON WHO THINKS FOR THEM SELFS HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Anonymous said...

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm dvd on a upscale player thru hdmi @ 720p plus xdengine 2 switched on plus 100hz screen refresh I NEED BLURAY

ERM WHY COUGH

M. Ferreira said...

Anonymous from 8:54PM: hot DAMN, you're hateful. o_o Also, misinformed, apparently. Lemme clear some things up :)

january sales meen [sic] diddlysqot[sic]

Sure they do. It's a month of sales! Of course it's going to mean something. That's the business world! :) You wouldn't be able to address a panel of shareholders, and proclaim that "LAST MONTH'S SALES DIDN'T COUNT!" because you said so. The month passed, time moved on, and your company screwed up. Same applies here.

ps3 shall do better but wii shall still totally dominate the ps3 is over allready

Um... Wii beat PS3 in sales last month? In just about all major territories?

PS3 HAS JUST ONE GOOD MONTH THATS ACCUALLY A ILUSION OF SORTS AS JANUARY FOLLOWS A MONTH OF CHRISTMAS SPENDING AND WII SHIPMENTS WERE LOW

...Wii was still on top? PS3 outsold the XBox 360, mainly due to a shortage of hardware from everyone BUT the PS3, who obviously has been sitting on inventory for a long time, which would allow for much faster restocks to retail establishments.

discs that spin and red by lasers is soooooo LAST GEN

OK. Then I HAVE to go plug my USB pen into my car stereo when I go driving! :D oh, wait...

Screw DVDs! I'm gonna go back up my hard drive with a 160GB flash disk! ...they cost HOW much?!

Right now, DVD's the cheapest route and the most popular one. It's FAR from "dead" as you claim. "Dead" implies that it's no longer selling, when that is far from the truth.

the future of media is solid state formats FLASH and ever increasing broadband speeds FACT

...can I have your crystal ball? ;) Right now, Flash is expensive and not reliable for situations like backups or long-term data storage. FACT: an 8-gig flash drive is about 40-50 bucks. A spindle of 100 DVD-Rs (approx. 800 gigs) is 34.95.

Broadband speeds are increasing, but that means NOTHING until every single house and every single business HAS it. There are still TONS of places that still use dial-up! YOU try downloading a 40-gig HD movie on 5KB (that's KILOBYTES) per second!

CARNT THE MASS CONSUMER WORK ANYTHING OUT FOR HIM/HERSELF ARE YOU ALL REALLY THAT FOOKING BRAINWASHED BY BULLSHITTING CORPERATIONS

...more like people enjoy property ownership. I work with these people at my job and I see more than enough that PREFER paying for a disc because they get something tangible. Something they can hold onto and KEEP rather than an abstract file that can only be played under the circumstances set by the **AA/cable company. I happen to be one of them. :)

Also, most people aren't upgrading to Blu-Ray right now, since they see the extra 10-15 dollars tacked onto a disc, and reason that the extra resolution just isn't worth it right now. People aren't as stupid as you think they are.

If anything, YOU seem to be brainwashed, as you're supporting a format that gives COMPLETE control to the corporations, rather than allowing some freedoms to the consumer.

DISC IS THE PAST MP4/4 IPOD AND RECORDING OF TV HAS CLEARLY PROVEN THAT FACT

Of course. ;) That's why new release DVDs of popular movies ONLY sell 10-20 million copies on day one, and new CDs sell out in their debut week.

THERE IS NO FORMAT WAR BETWEEN HD DVD AND BLURAY

Not anymore, there ain't. :(


Seriously, you have to stop just reading the comments at slashdot and pretending to be an all-knowing guru. Your whole post reeked of ignorance and misinformation. Furthermore, your spelling and grammar are simply atrocious. You need to work on that before you start convincing people of your points. :)

nef said...

Even though I don't agree with everything Anonymous from 8:54PM said, I do see his/her point regarding both new HD formats being unnecessary.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not leap frogging and saying flash media should be the format instead of discs. But, from the perspective of an every day consumer, I don't even think there's a need to upgrade from DVD. Maybe for technology infused people who use the latest tech for everyday things more often than others, they may feel the need to have the latest and the greatest. But isn't the majority of the market made up of people who haven't quite caught up with technology. Like m.ferreira said, lot of people still use dialups! When that is the case, when corporations introduce new formats and try to pass it off as a marketing feature, it really shows the shallowness of the industry.

Maybe I see it this way because I share the wii's philosophy when it comes to "mass market". If you want to truly evolve the market with new technology, get everyone on board first. Do it ethically. Dont leave anyone out by bringing a new tech when not everyone has embraced the current tech. I want sharper picture, better sound as much as the next guy, but I dont want to enjoy that at the expense of leaving other people out. It just kills the spirit of technology being a tool of entertainment. And the faster they introduce new unnecessary technology, the more people will be left out.

Benjamin Fennell said...

A shame for Toshiba, considering that HD-DVD was the superior format in so many regards, but this isn't going to do nearly as much for the PS3 as people are hoping. It isn't pushing it as a gaming machine - a similar problem we've seen with the PSP, improved hardware sales, but not so with software - and most people aren't buying HD media to begin with. Nor is the whole market about to go out and drop their SD TVs for HD during the switch from analog to digital signals - consumers' organizations are acting to make sure that the corporations don't abuse the market like that, when that's exactly what it would be - abuse. Most gamers, like most people, aren't dropping DVD for HD disc formats. And people who want a Blu-Ray player aren't going to buy a PS3 when there's cheaper standalone Blu-Ray players to be found. Not to mention that prices for anything and everything Blu-Ray - discs themselves included - are seeing even worse prices now without competition to drive prices down.

In short, DVD isn't going anywhere, interested Blu-Ray adopters are not looking for a console for their movies when the PS3 itself is not the best or cheapest player out there, nor is the format itself complete. And the excesses of DRM are in no way good for consumers either. People are cheering and tooting their horns over this, hoping it means SCE turning it around and making the Playstation brand dominant again, but that's just not going to happen. Sony's traded the Playstation brand for Blu-Ray, and the PSP was just generally poorly conceived and planned all around, similarly. Good riddance.

For the majority of us consumers out there? This doesn't really mean anything.

EatChildren said...

Anyone who thinks disks are an obsolete media format have absolutely no idea how the media industry works.

Disk format is very far from dead. Very, very far.

Dakara said...

Holographic disc FTW!!!

superuser said...

Hi Falafelkid!

This may interests you:
http://gonintendo.com/?p=36198#comments

Boom Blox to feature headtracking!

Anonymous said...

off topic but has anyone seen this?

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=976

"Turn any monitor into a 3D VR display"

absolute awesomeness.

Biohazard said...

I'm with Benjamin Fennell and m.ferreira on this.

Even though Sony may chug down a bottle of champagne in this format war. As for the console war, we may not know how much it will truly benefit Sony. As M. Ferriera said, it will be a hell of a long time when DVD go the way of the dodo. Even if the reduced price of Blu-Ray does help the PlayStation 3 gain momentum, we don't know how long it will be until it does. Did anyone remember how long DVD prices went down after it settled onto the market?

Some Guy said...

EA makes $2 billion bid for Take-Two.

Link

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