The best thing about the HD-DVD versus Blu-ray high definition disc format war is that the war seems to finally be over. HD-DVD's primary backer, Toshiba, has decided to pull out of the HD-DVD format and shut the whole thing down in the face of Blu-ray's increasingly steady popularity amongst fans of high definition video. Expect to see new HD-DVD players and media disappear from the shelves soon either through really cheap discounts or outright disposal. Say, do you suppose there's any dumping space left at the legendary E.T. landfill? Here's a snippet of Toshiba's press release:
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.
Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements. The company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand.
I hadn't chosen a side in the HD format wars because I didn't want to wind up flushing away a lot of money down the "wrong" technology. I'm also not in a rush to rebuy my DVD collection in a new format. I can definitely see myself upgrading to Blu-ray versions of some of my absolute most favorite films once I acquire a Sony PlayStation 3 (Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and a few choice others should they arrive on Blu-ray format), but on the whole I think that regular old fashioned DVD will continue to be my format of choice for the moment considering how much shelf space I already devote to those wonderful shiny discs.