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Toshiba officially quits HD DVD

Toshiba has officially announced it is pulling out of HD DVD production leaving Sony's Blu-ray the format war victor and ending weeks of speculation.

Toshiba has officially announced it is pulling out of HD DVD production leaving Sony's Blu-ray the format war victor and ending weeks of speculation.

In a statement on its Japanese website Toshiba says it has "decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders".

Toshiba said it will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, with HD DVD to be withdrawn completely from the market by the end of March 2008.

The company says it will focus instead on other technologies which will "drive mass market access to high definition content" such as NAND flash memory, small form factor hard disk drives, next generation CPUs, and other audio-visual technologies.

"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation.

"While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality", he said.

However, Toshiba said it will continue to work with the existing relationships forged through HD DVD including: the movie studios Universal, Paramount, and DreamWorks Animation; and its official technology partners Microsoft, Intel, and HP. Toshiba said it would "study possible collaboration with these companies for future business opportunities".