Yeah, Toshiba's not giving in on the BluRay front --yet, anyway. But I'll give the props for seeing what the rest of the market sees: Decent upscaling of standard 480p DVD's looks plenty good on HDTV's. Yes, I can see the difference with BluRay/HD-DVD vs. regular DVD's, but nevertheless, it's not the quantum visual leap that it would need to be to really sway the masses.
Add to that the ridiculous pricing structure that BluRay manufacturers are using right now, and it's obvious that Sony, et. al., might just snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Seriously, $300+ for a baseline BluRay player? Were the BD association to start marketing these things in the $100-$150 region, it would easily make up whatever shortfalls they might have on the profit margin front with volume.
I know, I know...I'm going to hear "But they have to recoup their development costs", blah blah blah. Well, it ain't happening. Sure, Sony's selling more PS3's, but Moms and Pops aren't going to be buying consoles to play DVD's. They need to dramatically lower the prices on BD players (baseline players, that is) or there's going to be plenty of room for more innovation on the standard DVD side.
So Toshiba's still smarting from HD-DVD; 'tis true. But you have to acknowledge that it's darn smart business sense to capitalize on an upscaler that will do 1080p (vs. 1080i) to cater to the overwhelming majority of consumers who haven't bought or bought into the BluRay world. I think it's pretty funny, actually.
for a somewhat humorous take on the latest Sony vs. Toshiba episode...
It seems like Toshiba is still bitter about the HD medium war, huh? The latest strategy to make Sony's product irrelevant seems smart , but really has that "Well, ya know I think the HD format thing is just STOOOOPID ANYHOW!" tinge, right?
Imagine, with me, if you will, that this is a schoolyard squabble between Sony and Toshiba...
Sony: You're just jealous aren't you Toshiba? You've gotta be - otherwise you'd join my side.
Toshiba: Pfffttt, whatever Sony. My stuff is soo good, you don't even know! My stuff is just as good as yours and people like me more because they'll have more money in their pockets. I'm gonna kick you're butt right out of every store soo fast you're circuits are gonna fry! You want your Blu-Ray, I got your Blu-Ray right...
Teacher: CHIIIIILLLLDRRREEEEENN! BOTH OF YOU, HERE, NOW! You two have to learn to appreciate each other. If you can't, neither of you is going to have recess and I'm going to make you both, together do a 5000 word paper on the invention of the light bulb!
Sony: <mumbling> He started it </mumbling>
Toshiba: <mumbling> You paid your way to win </mumbling>
Teacher: What was that!?
Sony/Toshiba: <mubling> nothing... </mumbling>
P.S. - I'd love to see a similar conversation in the Star Wars universe where Sony is the Empire and Toshiba is the Rebel Alliance