HD DVD debut may be delayed

-September 01, 2005

TOKYO — Toshiba Corp.'s plan to introduce HD DVD players ahead of Blu-ray Disc (BD) players in the U.S. may be delayed, the company said.

Mainichi Shimbun, a daily newspaper here, reported Thursday (Sept. 1) that the U.S. launch of HD DVD players would be delayed until next spring. Toshiba said it would stick to its original launch schedule by the end of this year in Japan, but the U.S. launch has not been determined, the spokeswoman said.

Toshiba is discussing the timing for introducing HD DVD players with content providers such as Hollywood studios and U.S. video retailers. "We want to make the HD DVD launch in the United States on a significant scale [with a large number of movie titles], and now we are talking about when is the best timing for that," the Toshiba spokesman said.

A change in the timing of the HD DVD launch represents a critical shift in strategy. One reason is that the Playstation 3 console will hit the market sometime next spring with a BD player function.

The report said Hollywood studios wanted to concentrate on present DVD sales in the coming Christmas sales season before shifting their focus to the HD format.

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