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."