Blu-ray camp gets new convert: old rival Toshiba
The Japanese electronics maker had backed another high-definition video format, the HD-DVD, but ceded defeat last year.
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The Japanese electronics maker had backed another high-definition video format, the HD-DVD, but ceded defeat last year, saying it will give up making or developing HD-DVD products.
There had been some speculation Toshiba may skip making Blu-ray products and instead try to develop an even more sophisticated video technology.
But Toshiba said it is planning to introduce Blu-ray products such as players and personal computers. Details were set to be announced later.
“In light of recent growth in digital devices supporting the Blu-ray format, combined with market demand from consumers and retailers alike, Toshiba has decided to join the BDA,” it said, referring to the Blu-ray association.
Some kind of decision from Toshiba had been expected ahead of the key year-end shopping season.
The move is reminiscent of Sony’s strategy after its Betamax videotape standard lost to Panasonic’s VHS in the 1980s. Sony ended up making VHS products.
The Blu-ray market could be too lucrative for Toshiba to pass up. The Japanese electronics maker racked up its biggest loss ever, 344 billion yen ($3.5 billion) in its last fiscal year, which ended in March.
Apart from home entertainment products, Toshiba is also a large maker of PCs, in which Blu-ray drives are slowly supplanting DVD drives. Without Blu-ray drives, Toshiba laptops could have lost out to other manufacturers.