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.
Thanks to: Joystiq, Aika'svyse