In an over night press release, Toshiba confirmed it’s much-speculated exit and announced that come mid march all HD DVD shipments would cease.
Speaking at a press conference in Sydney this morning, Toshiba Australia general manager Mark Whittard, laid blame for the exit on several factors, including Warner Bros’ withdrawal of support for the format and reduced support from major retailers.
"While we continue to believe HD DVD is the best format for consumers, based on its technological advancements and the value inherent in our player offerings, recent market developments have led us to the decision to choose new and different paths," he said.
Toshiba will also end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe. 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.
Although Toshiba will continue to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products, or those who have purchased HD DVD players in the past week, and those unlucky to have purchased them prior, will not be eligible for refunds or cost rebates.
"There is nothing wrong with the products so we aren't accepting returns from customers," Whittard said. "Our customers understood that there were two competing formats and understood that one of them would probably prevail."
He hushed speculation that Toshiba would switch to the BluRay camp, and instead hinted that next-generation DVD technology would be surpassed by online movie downloads in the near future.
HD DVD refunds exit alongside the doomed format
By Mitchell Bingemann on Feb 20, 2008 1:47PM