Toshiba Calls for an Amnesty in the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD War

The solution … a unified format


It seems that the Blu-ray vs. HDH DVD war is finally coming to a compromise, as Toshiba Corp., the main backer of HD DVD format, has given up the fight and announced today that it will fully support a unified, meaning hybrid, format, which will support both leading Blu-ray and HD DVD, according to X-bit Labs.

Up until now, Sony preferred not to comment on Toshiba's official statement. As Sony has already launched several Blu-ray compatible products such as a notebook, numerous movies stored on a dedicated media, and it has prepared a Blu-ray player and, most of all, its already famous and controversial gaming console - the PlaStation 3 - the company might not agree with its rival on such a bold initiative.

"We have not given up on a unified format. We would like to seek ways for unifying the standards if opportunities arise," said Atsutoshi Nishida, Toshiba's president.

The analysts are saying that this story is similar to the one which made the headlines in the '80 - Betamax vs. VHS war. The format battle generated worldwide consumer confusion and a revenue loss of several billions of dollars.

"We're in the very early stages of the early adapter phase. The sales of these players and discs right now are not going to move the needle," said American Technology Research analyst PJ McNealy. "Many consumers will remain sidelined until there is a clearer picture of which standard, Blu-ray or HD DVD, will prevail."

The catch is easy to see… We are talking about a $24 billion home video market and the one who will win the battle will have also the monopole and, obviously, the profits. And as Toshiba and its HD DVD didn't turn into so many news as the Sony Blu-ray Alliance did, this seemed to be, just maybe, a way out.

Furthermore, both companies invested large sums of money into equipments and time for their development, so, if the researchers don't come up with a format that can be supported by devices manufactured using the same equipment, this might turn out to be a fiasco.