Toshiba has just announced that its HD DVD player will not be launched as planned in the United States and Japan in the fourth quarter of 2005, but may in fact be released early 2006. This surely has something to do with the fact that Sony has opted out of a unified format, and will pursue Blu-Ray on their own.
The postponement may undercut Toshiba’s lead as the first manufacturer to introduce such high-end DVDs in the market. It is noted that Toshiba has been engaged in a long three-year war with Sony on which of their standards should be adopted by new DVDs, which provide users better capacity for high-definition movies. Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo Electric have been promoting HD DVD, while Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial are advancing Blu-ray technology. So you see, the delay is not just the postponement of a product launch but it may affect Toshiba’s stand in the multibillion dollar market for DVD players, PC drivers and optical discs.
Toshiba, however, claims that it will use the delay to increase potential demand for the HD DVD players.
“We are now in talks with Hollywood studios and large-scale retailers to seek the most effective timing of the launch and best way to launch,” according to a Toshiba spokeswoman.