Toshiba Halts Production of HD DVD Hardware

Electronics manufacturer Toshiba announced today that it will discontinue production of its HD DVD players and recorders, prompting many to sound the end of the format war in favor of Sony's Blu-ray disc.

Rumors began circulating last week that Toshiba, one of the largest backers of the HD DVD format, would discontinue support after retail giant Wal-Mart announced its decision to only sell Blu-ray discs in its stores.

"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war'," said Toshiba CEO Atsutoshi Nishida. "[We] concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop."

Sony's PlayStation 3 is currently the only gaming console equipped to play Blu-ray movies out of the box. Microsoft recently cut the price of its Xbox 360 HD DVD player, but would not comment directly on rumors that it would release a Blu-ray player add-on as early as May.

"It is premature to speculate about Blu-ray," a Microsoft representative told Shacknews. "But we do know from market data that HD movie playback is not a primary purchase driver for consumers buying video game consoles."