Toshiba today confirmed that it will discontinue its HD DVD products, handing victory to rival high-definition disc format Blu-ray Disc.
The company will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders and will reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail markets. Toshiba aims to cease the businesses altogether by the end of March.
But the Japanese electronics giant pledged to provide full product support and after-sales service for owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.
Recent changes in the market prompted the decision, Toshiba said. Early this year, Warner Bros said it would stop issuing movies on HD DVD in the coming months and rely exclusively on Blu-ray Disc. The Hollywood studio was one of three major studios remaining in the HD DVD camp, and its defection created widespread belief that the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc was now over.
More recently, major US retail chain Wal-Mart announced it would phase out the sale of HD DVD products, moving to exclusivity with Blu-ray Disc. Electronics retailer Best Buy also said it would back Blu-ray Disc, but it did not say it would stop offering HD DVD.