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Too little too late? Toshiba "still seeking" Blu-ray and HD DVD unity


We're not sure how to take this. Just as Blu-ray launches, with its own HD DVD players having already been on store shelves for some time, now Toshiba wants to hold out the olive branch again. Even as Blu-ray struggles with underwhelming launch titles and delays, they still hold the trump card of higher capacity, possibly higher burning speed, and more movie studio support. Maybe Toshiba sees this as the best time to cut a deal, maybe not. We already have reports that they are spending a lot of money to make sure HD DVD gains acceptance, but what is the long term strategy?

One thought is that Toshiba is just floating this in an attempt to slow possible Blu-ray early adopters, who might be slower to spend $1000+ if they're unsure a compromise could be coming soon, but that would probably hurt the sales of Toshiba's HD-A1 just as much, if not more. The statement was made by company president Atsutoshi Nishida at an annual shareholder meeting, interestingly timed just after Sony CEO Howard Stringer remarked on his companies "high-risk" strategy for PS3 & Blu-ray victory. Stringer kept up the company line, referring to their competitor as a transitional product, and Blu-ray the future-proof standard for years to come.

Whatever the case may be, from here it certainly seems like Toshiba is looking for a ship that has sailed. This close to their Playstation 3 launch Sony would be giving up their primary advantage by unifying, or risk further delaying the system to add compatibility. While HDTV owners can certainly see that a format war is stupid, will slow growth and adoption of both, and cost everyone more money, if the two sides couldn't figure things out when they were negotiating last year there is little reason to believe they will now.

Latest Blu-ray vs. HD DVD news:
HD DVD and Blu-ray movies released on June 27th 2006
Toshiba is selling the HD DVD players below cost
Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray player really IS delayed: October 25
Samsung universal HD DVD/Blu-ray player still a possibility

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