Bill Hunt wrote:
There's MAJOR breaking news today in the high-def format war: Japanese broadcaster NHK is reporting that Toshiba has decided to exit the HD-DVD business. The company has apparently stopped further HD-DVD development and will close its factories in Aomori Prefecture, in northern Japan. Reuters has picked up this story as well, and you'll find it here at Yahoo news and elsewhere. It was also being widely reported in the evening news across Japan last night.
According what we've been able to gather from various stories in the Japanese press (here, here, here and here), Toshiba management was meeting very soon anyway (probably next week) to officially pull the plug, but the timetable may have been moved up given last week's retailer announcements. Someone at Toshiba HQ apparently leaked the information to the Japanese media Saturday afternoon (Tokyo time) and the thought is that leaking it early will make it easier for the company to make an official announcement, possibly as soon as Monday (thanks to Keiko S. for the links and information).
All that's left now IS for Toshiba to make an official statement, followed (or perhaps preceded) by long-awaited announcements of Blu-ray Disc support from Universal and Paramount, which we now expect very soon. Word is that Paramount will be able to quickly shift gears back to Blu-ray, as they already have experience working with the format (and some unreleased BD titles have already been replicated - think the titles that were cancelled last year at the last minute when the studio abandoned Blu-ray - or at least have finished masters ready for replication). Universal on the other hand, will take longer to ramp up, as they're at least two years behind the other Hollywood studios in working with the format (though one would expect the BDA to provide them help in getting up to speed as quickly as possible).