January 07, 2008
| by Chuck McKenney
Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on the consumer electronics industry last week when it revealed that it will exclusively release its high-def titles in the Blu-ray format starting in May. Talk that this could be the final nail in the coffin of HD DVD has swarmed CES 2008 in Las Vegas.
The HD DVD Promotion Group responded by canceling its press conference scheduled for Sunday, Jan 6th at CES. A move which symbolized the waving of the white flag.
“We are currently discussing the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluating next steps. We believe the consumer continues to benefit from HD DVD’s commitment to quality and affordability – a bar that is critical for the mainstream success of any format.”
This left Toshiba, their major ally in the format war, high and dry. But Toshiba execs didn’t waver as they faced the media at CES.
“It’s difficult for me to read all the pundits declare that HD DVD is dead,” said Jodi Sally, vide-president of marketing for Toshiba’s Digital A/V Group. “Clearly the events of the last few days have lead many of you to that conclusion, but we’ve been declared dead before.”
Sally cited sales numbers as proof HD DVD is thriving. “The reality is, we ended 2007 with a majority lead in year-to-date market share. Our unit sales in the 4Q were the best to date for HD DVD.”
(Check out our Photos from the CES Show Floor.)