Best Buy is following Future Shop, Circuit City and others in reaching out to casualties of the format war. In this case, anyone who bought an HD DVD player from Best Buy before February 23, 2008 can request a complimentary $50 gift card for each player. For those too traumatized to even look at their discontinued hardware and software, Best Buy also announced it's adding HD DVD players and media to its Trade-In Center program, starting March 21. No word on how much a player can net you, but once it's updated, check BestBuyTradeIn.com to get an estimate and decide how much holding onto the past is worth.

[Thanks, Harmin C.]

Update: Best Buy just issued a press release with additional information about the more than $10 million in gift cards it plans to distribute, and details on how to make sure you get yours, check out the full PR after the break.
Best Buy Stands Behind Customers By Awarding More Than $10 Million in Gift Cards to HD-DVD Purchasers
Leading Consumer Electronics Retailer will Send $50 Gift Cards to Customers Who Purchased an HD-DVD Player from Best Buy in the U.S.

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With Blu-ray declaring victory over HD-DVD in the high definition movie format war, Best Buy, the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, is giving $50 gift cards to customers who purchased an HD-DVD player or HD-DVD attachment from its U.S. stores before February 23, 2008. Customers will get a gift card for each player or HD-DVD attachment that they purchased. Through this program, Best Buy will distribute more than $10 million in gift cards to customers across the country.

"The DVD format war has divided our customers in a way we haven't seen since Betamax took on VHS more than 20 years ago," said Brian J. Dunn, president and chief operating officer for Best Buy. "At Best Buy, we understood and shared our customers' frustrations as they were being asked to choose one format or the other. Now that the format war is over, we hope these gift cards will reassure our customers that we will help them make a smooth transition into the right technology for their needs."

Most Best Buy customers won't have to do anything to receive their gift card. As a demonstration of its commitment to its customers, Best Buy will proactively mail cards to all customers that the company can identify as having purchased an HD-DVD player. Members of the Best Buy Reward Zone program, customers who purchased Performance Service Plans (PSPs) or who made their purchase on BestBuy.com should look for their gift cards in the mail by May 1. Other customers who may not be easily identified can call (888) BEST BUY to receive their gift cards with proof of purchase through a credit card or their Best Buy receipt.

"The beauty of this offer is that it doesn't require our customers to give up their HD-DVD player," said Barry Judge, chief marketing officer for Best Buy. "We know that many people who purchased these players have HD-DVD movies that they would like to continue to watch. We're telling our customers they can keep their players to play these movies as well as their older DVDs and use the $50 to treat themselves to anything else in our stores."

HD-DVD players can actually deliver greatly enhanced video performance with standard DVDs by upconverting the video resolution.

Beginning on March 21, customers who do want to get rid of their HD-DVD players can visit Best Buy's Online Trade-In Center at www.bestbuytradein.com. Visitors to the site will receive instant estimates of the value of their HD-DVD players and movies. Those who agree with the estimates can then ship their goods to the Trade-In Center free of charge by downloading a prepaid shipping label and will receive an additional gift card as payment for their trade-in. This service is open to HD-DVD owners regardless of where they bought their player.

For more information visit www.bestbuy.com/hddvd.