Toshiba To Withdraw Its HD DVD Format: Reports

Toshiba is about to give up on its HD DVD format after a string of major setbacks, reports Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) and WSJ, citing sources. Thus ends the grueling battle dating back several years on the HD DVD vs Blu-Ray formats for the next generation DVDs. Reuters quotes local agency NHK which Toshiba would suffer losses running to tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) to scrap production of HD DVD players and recorders and other steps to withdraw from the business. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), BestBuy and Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) all went into Blu-Ray camp in the last couple of weeks.

WSJ: If Toshiba withdraws from the HD DVD business, Viacom’s (NYSE: VIA) Paramount Pictures and GE’s Universal Pictures, both of which currently support the format exclusively, would be immediately released from their commitments.