Toshiba backs out of HD player race
On February 19th, Toshiba announced that it will now discontinue production of HD-DVD players due to “recent changes in the market“. However, support will continue to be provided for existing customers of HD-DVD players. This decision may have come about due to Wal-Mart’s recent decision to phase out HD-DVD discs and hardware in favour of Blu-Ray discs and hardware in all of its Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club outlets.
The tremendous price cuts on HD-DVD players (and perhaps their discs) was part of one of Toshiba’s initiatives to re-ignite demand, but apparently, this attempt did not see the success expected. What does this mean for the consumer? Well, HD-DVD players are selling for almost less than half their original prices – some even less than $100 if you look in the right places!
If you jumped on the HD-DVD bandwagon early on while Toshiba was battling with Sony’s Blu-Ray, you may be disappointed. You can go out and get as many HD-DVDs for very reasonable prices now or just convert your HD-DVDs to Blu-Ray. However, I doubt you may want to spend even more on a Blu-Ray burner after what you spent on your early HD-DVD player.
It looks like Blu-Ray will take the lead from here on, unless if another HD format is released pretty soon to give competition. If you are an XBOX 360 owner, you are probably wondering what will happen to the XBOX 360’s add-on HD-DVD player. That is still up in the air, but I do not expect to see much impact to Microsoft except that sales for their players may drop. The outlook looks better for Sony’s PS3 which supports Blu-Ray without a need for add-on hardware.