With Toshiba dropping HD DVD, companies that remained neutral throughout the format war are now pledging support for Blu-ray. Amazon.com announced today that they are recommending Blu-ray as the preferred digital format for consumers.
In an effort to help demystify high-definition entertainment for consumers, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced its support for Blu-ray as the digital format of choice for customers. As part of this announcement, Amazon.com will more prominently promote Blu-ray hardware and software products on its website.

"The high-definition landscape is rapidly changing, and consumers are looking for guidance on how to make the best high-definition buying decisions," said Peter Faricy, vice president of movies and music at Amazon.com. "Our customers have clearly voiced their support for the Blu-ray format. Blu-ray titles have increased from just over half of our high-definition sales to over three-quarters of our high-definition sales since early January. In order to best serve our customers, Amazon is recommending Blu-ray as the preferred digital format and will continue to carry the 'Earth's Largest Selection' of Blu-ray products."
While its good to see that Amazon is looking out for its customers, this announcement would have meant more if it came a week or two sooner. If you'd like to read more, Amazon's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
With Toshiba dropping HD DVD, it was only a matter of time before its supporters in Hollywood followed suit. According to Home Media Magazine, Universal Studios has announced that it will be releasing its new and catalog titles on Blu-ray.
At least one of the two major studios currently exclusive to HD DVD is already gearing up to join the other team after Toshiba’s announcement it would stop making HD DVD players.

“While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalog titles on Blu-ray,” said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
With a Blu-ray version of Transformers showing up in Circuit City's computers, its only a matter of time before Paramount announces that they too are dropping support for HD DVD. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Toshiba sent out a press release this morning, announcing that they will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. The company will begin reducing shipments of its players and recorders immediately and is aiming to pull out of the retail market altogether by the end of March 2008.
Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress.

“We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. "While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”
So there you have it. The format war is officially over. I would expect to see announcements from Universal and Paramount later this week. If you'd like to read more, Toshiba's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
With the impending demise of HD DVD, Microsoft is reportedly working on a Blu-ray addon for the Xbox 360. While this isn't the first time we've heard this rumor, sources at Microsoft have told Smarthouse that the company has already configured a Blu-ray player which could be on sale within 3 months.
Insiders at Microsoft in the USA have told SmartHouse that Microsoft has already configured a standalone Blu-ray player that can be connected into an Xbox 360 and that subject to internal marketing and sales approvals the model could be on sale within 3 months.

The Company has also been working on a built in Blu-ray player however insiders are claiming that Microsoft see the HD format battle moving online with consumers offered 1080p movie and content files as a download as opposed to having to buy a HD DVD or Blu-ray disc.
It would not surprise me if Microsoft was working on a Blu-ray player. However, I doubt that they will get it to market in three months. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Toshiba issued a brief statement this morning, denying reports that it plans to drop support for HD DVD. While the company admits that it is currently "assessing its business strategies", it has not decided to pull the plug on HD DVD quite yet.
"The media reported that Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD business. Toshiba has not made any announcement concerning this. Although Toshiba is currently assessing its business strategies, no decision has been made at this moment."
According to a report by the Associated Press, Toshiba could hold a board meeting as soon as Tuesday, where a decision is likely. Add a comment