Blu-ray driveMassive HD-DVD backer Toshiba, one of the biggest losers in the nascent high-definition disc format wars, will produce and launch a Blu-ray player this year, according to reports in Japan.

After spending a fortune trying (and failing) to prop up HD-DVD as the high-definition disc choice du jour, Toshiba initially said it would concentrate its resources on existing DVD technology.

But this never seemed like a terribly long-term proposition, and now according to the Japanese magazine Yomiuri the tech giant wants a high-def disc player all of its own.

According to reports, the 'Toshiba BD-18' will be on sale in Japan in time for Christmas.

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