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Toshiba 'assessing' HD DVD, expected to abandon format

By VB Staff -- Video Business, 2/18/2008

FEB. 18 | Toshiba Corp. on Monday said that it is “currently assessing its business strategies” regarding HD DVD, although “no decision has been made at this moment.”

The three sentence statement was in response to a flurry of Japanese media reports over the weekend that the consumer electronics company will pull the plug on the losing high-def disc format as early as this week.

The company’s statement fueled further reports that it will kill HD DVD as its acknowledgement that it is reviewing the business was widely taken as an admission of defeat of the demise of HD DVD.

The format, in decline since Warner Bros. in January said it would move to support only Blu-ray, was hit last week by the triple whammy of Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Netflix each saying they will drop or decrease support for the format.

Microsoft, which supports HD DVD with its Xbox 360 add-on drive, also issued a statement Monday saying "We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 or our position in the marketplace. As we've long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry." 

Microsoft said it will "wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player."


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