Saturday, February 16, 2008

RIP: HD DVD (2006~2008)

Hi Blog,

News from the wire is that Toshiba is ending its HD DVD business:
NHK said Toshiba would suffer losses running to tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) to scrap production of HD DVD players and recorders and other steps to withdraw from the business. (NYTimes Link)
A while back I wrote about how Blu-ray was becoming the format of choice for Japanese AV (porn) companies. My commentary was that although they weren't actively supporting this, SONY had chosen not to limit access to the Blu-ray compressors and pressing machines abroad -- nor what they were being used for. (They only had issues with Blu-ray AV discs being made within Japan.)

As a result, it seemed that this time Sony had decided at least in action, if not in words, to not fall victim a second time to the simple 'no porn' tactical error that sank Betamax in old the VHS/Beta format wars. In that same piece, I also noted that conversely, that US porn industry had embraced the HD DVD format because it was comparably cheaper to manufacture.

Well, it seems that porn didn't define the current war -- no surprise there, considering the over-abundance available for free online. But that fact combined with the news from earlier this week that key big box store chains in the US would support Blu-ray exclusively it seemed clear to Toshiba that the gig was up.

Toshiba has been rather circumspect about the whole ordeal considering the enormous losses it has sustained. They had this to say:
"Marketing was a weak point for Toshiba. We learned a lot from HD DVD. Strengthening marketing will continue to be an issue for us going forward," the source said. (NYTimes Link)
Really? I wonder how many people will be fired as a result of this... It'll be dark days around Toshiba corporate, I would imagine.

As for me, I'm collecting more Laserdiscs than DVDs at this point. From a cost standpoint, you can't beat it. And quite frankly, I'm waiting to see what the next format will be.

1 comment:

logboy said...

despite Sony not being entirely problem-free, that the PS3 took Bly-ray into many homes via the back door was enough to give them the advantage... even the manufacturing process of the machine was simplified to accompdate America and japan by placing them in the same region zone this time around - the two largest gaming markets only needing two languages, not the many found across Europe - pointed to foresight that gave the impression of almost being a guarantee that was a sign I find no equivalent for in toshibas game.