Toshiba Blu-ray Player Finally Coming in 2009
Toshiba will soon launch its first Blu-ray player, according to a Japanese newspaper.
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Photo via EngadgetHD
July 20, 2009 by Steve Crowe

Toshiba will finally launch its first Blu-ray player later in 2009, according to the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

Blu-ray.com says the player is called the BD-18, and it will read both Blu-ray discs and DVDs. No specs have been released.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, quoting unnamed sources, adds that Toshiba may consider a recordable Blu-ray player in the future, depending on the market.

Toshiba, of course, lost the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray format war in early 2008 and subsequently suffered a 95 percent loss in profits.

It’s long been wondered whether Toshiba would release a Blu-ray player since the end of the format war. But in August 2008, Toshiba released the XD-E500 upconverting DVD player, promising “a near HD experience with enhanced detail and richer colors.”

Then Toshiba released a second firmware update for its HD DVD players in October 2008, addressing playback problems and other issues. A Blu-ray player certainly didn’t not appear to be in Toshiba’s plans.

But now Toshiba appears to have given in. Not only is this a surprise given Toshiba’s persistence of promoting HD DVD, but Toshiba’s UK CEO recently said Blu-ray would be rapidly outdated by digital downloads.

Toshiba must have changed its mind after seeing Blu-ray disc sales were up 91 percent in the first half of 2009.

Is Toshiba too late to the Blu-ray game? Let us know in the comments.

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