There was an air of inevitability about Toshiba's decision to bow out of the next-generation DVD format war. On Feb. 19 Chief Executive Officer Atsutoshi Nishida finally said what analysts and industry executives had been predicting for weeks: Toshiba will stop making video players, recorders, and high-tech parts in the HD DVD format that the company had spent years developing and in which it had invested sizable sums to bring to market.
Toshiba's planned exit in March formally ends the two-year standoff between the two competing, incompatible high-definition DVD formats (BusinessWeek.com, 12/6/07). Now Blu-ray disc, backed by a Sony-led (SNE) consortium, becomes the de facto standard for new DVDs featuring clearer pictures and more special functions than ordinary DVDs. "We felt that a quick decision was best," Nishida told a roomful of journalists and TV cameras at company headquarters.