When the main developer of HD-DVD, Toshiba, announced that they were ending participation in the project back in 2008, it effectively signalled the end of the Hi-Def format war, leaving Toshiba running away from HD with their tail firmly tucked between their legs.
However, many suspected that they would go on to produce rival Blu-ray devices and leaked information even suggested it was well on their to-do list. Some remained unsure though, as it would not only be further admitting defeat but also agreeing that Sony’s alternative was the better solution. Indeed they went back to quietly supporting the ageing DVD format and no one really questioned it.
Now though it seems that Toshiba has decided it wants to move on from the entire format war fiasco. According to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri, they have announced they are going to be releasing a Blu-ray player in time for Christmas.
This news is not a surprise, after all no electronics company would want to miss out on the HD market altogether and with Toshiba struggling along with only up-scaling DVD players in their product range, it’s move they desperately need. It also shows that Toshiba has faith in the Blu-ray platform moving forwards, which is something that will please the likes of Sony, the main company behind Blu-ray, as well as silence some critics who feel we should be moving towards digital downloads sooner rather than later.
The device itself is likely to be a middle of the range affair, designed to grab back as much of the estimated $1bn they lost from the format war as they can. Also expect some kind of unique or distinguishing features as Toshiba go on the hard sell, trying to convince us that their offering is the best for your cash. There are also rumours of a Blu-ray recorder being in the works, but if true this is unlikely to be out this year.