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It's Official: Toshiba Ducks Out of Format War - R.I.P. HD DVD

Toshiba Ducks Out of Format War - R.I.P. HD DVDIt's official. After plenty of rumors and speculation Toshiba itself has indeed confirmed that it will cease production of HD DVD players and recorders sometime next month. That means the high-definition format war is over and Sony, having lost so many of these battles in the past (Betamax, MiniDisc, UMD, etc. etc.), has finally got winner on its hands.

Or does it? Having offed HD-DVD on the high-def front, Sony's format now must face off against two even stronger competitors: Downloadable films such as those offered by Netflix and iTunes, and the humble DVD, which is still selling like hotcakes even among owners of high-definition televisions. But, now that there is a clear choice, the landscape may change quickly.

Industry reaction is, for the most part, a big sense of relief that this format war didn't drag on any longer. Forbes is saying that the real winners are the retailers, who can now tell consumers without a doubt which high-def format they should put their money on. For its part, Microsoft, which early-on threw its support behind HD-DVD -- both with an add-on for its Xbox 360 and also by providing some of the technology used within the encoding of the discs -- is saying that the death of the format will do little to impact the success of its console. Hedging its bets by not building an HD-DVD drive into the console itself is finally looking like a smart move, and many industry pundits are now wondering just how long it'll be before there's a Blu-ray add-on for the Xbox 360.

We're inclined to think it'll be awhile before we see that, but anything is possible.

From Toshiba, Forbes, and BetaNews

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Tags: Blu-ray, breaking+news, format wars, FormatWars, HD DVD, HdDvd, Microsoft, Sony, top, Toshiba, Xbox 360, Xbox360

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