There seems to be a calm before the DVD format storm. Both sides are gathering up the resources and allies in order to out-do the others. Toshiba's HD DVD just gained a very powerful, but perhaps risky, partner. Toshiba is going to allow Chinese DVD makers manufacture HD-DVD players. These are the same manufacturers that caused the current DVD player price war and make those cheap 'Wal-Mart' specials.
It is now clear what Toshiba is focusing on. They are not going to focus on making money via their $999 HD-DVD players, but rather, the format itself. China is going to flood the market with cheap HD-DVD players and fast; this is what Toshiba wants. These low-cost players are set to come out months before Sony can get Blu-ray players out and for a whole lot less.
This move by Toshiba addresses two of the four items we talked about a few weeks ago on why HD-DVD or Blu-ray might fail. The players are going to be low cost, and play upon the public nonchalance. People don't care what format it is as long as it works and it's not hard to use. The more options you give the more confusion you cause, and therefore, less are sold. But if the majority of the players have HD-DVD and are cheap, they will sell.