Goodbye Format War - Hello Single Standard

A few months back I gave Toshiba some advice on how HD-DVD could win the format war. Perhaps it was too little, too late, or it was sound advice that fell on deaf ears. Either way, Toshiba has packed up camp and announced it will no longer be manufacturing or marketing HD-DVD players, and ending the long format war once and for all.

It's estimated Toshiba sold over one million HD-DVD players and three-hundred thousand personal computers with HD-DVD drives. Painful as it may be for early adopters, there will be no rebates, refunds, or credits toward Blu-Ray devices for anyone that bought in to HD-DVD early.

What brought the demise of HD-DVD? Though a full autopsy may be in order to find the detailed answer, I chalk it up to three things:

1. Sony's move to build Blu-Ray playback into the Playstation 3 paid off. Even though the PS3 hasn't been the hottest selling game machine, you can't argue that the 10 million plus units in the market didn't affect software sales some. Had Microsoft, an HD-DVD supporter, built HD-DVD into the XBOX 360 from the beginning instead of making it an add-on a year later, things certainly could have been different.

2. Warner Home Video tipped the scales. Once Warner announced that it would no longer support both formats, it's been a downhill slide for Toshiba. That single announcement led to retailers like Wal-Mart and rental chains like Blockbuster and NetFlix dropping HD-DVD entirely.

3. Lackluster marketing and unaggressive promotion. Few will say Toshiba did much to generate interest and excitement around HD-DVD. Even when Warner dropped support for both formats just prior to CES, Toshiba simply ran away from the news and said almost nothing. Playing dead may keep you alive in the face of danger, but it will never help you take down the bully.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; I didn't care which format won provided we ended up with a single standard. If you've been itching to jump into the HD home movie ocean but didn't want to dive into choppy waters, then hop on in. The sea's are calm now.


I can't wait for the HD-DVD fire sales so I can stock up on HD movies for my Xbox 360 HD-DVD player!  I guess that's one good thing that comes out of this for HD-DVD player owners...

I agree that the inclusion of Blu-Ray in the PS3 definitely had an impact.  That would be a huge selling point for me in the decision to purchase a PS3... or if I already wanted a PS3, that would be extra motivation to buy one.

Figure all the PS3 owners, by default, probably won't purchase an HD-DVD player because they already have the other format.

You're right, also... now's a great time to clean up on those HD-DVD clearance items!! 


Connect With Techlore