Toshiba Finally, Inevitably, Does Blu-Ray

By  |  Monday, August 10, 2009 at 9:13 am

Toshiba Blu-RaySometimes it takes tech companies an amazingly long time to confront the inevitable. The whole war betwen Blu-Ray and HD-DVD was a rotten idea from the start (both formats were announced in 2002). But all parties involved in both camps insisted on wasting billions developing two competing HD formats. Then it took ages before HD-DVD prime mover Toshiba accepted that it had lost the conflict and discontinued the format. That was in February of last year.

And then it took another eighteen months for Toshiba to announce the inevitable conclusion to the whole saga: It’s joining the Blu-Ray Association and will be selling Blu-Ray players and laptops with Blu-Ray drives. I feel for the the company, I don’t think its stance that HD-DVD was the superior format was utterly irrational, and if and when the day comes that I buy a Blu-Ray player, it’s as likely to come from Toshiba as any other company.

But a panel of relatively well-informed consumers could have figured out the likely outcome years before Toshiba ditched HD-DVD and embraced Blu-Ray. Wouldn’t it have made sense for everyone involved to get here more quickly?

(Note: The Toshiba Blu-Ray Disc logo shown above is my quick mockup–I wonder if Toshiba still winces when it sees its name and “Blu-Ray” in close proximity, or if it’s over it?)



4 Comments For This Post

  1. Disputatore Says:

    Agreed that a lot of money could have been saved. But, isn’t that the way of business? Two competitor groups find a similar solution after having already invested high quantities of money to get there. Is it really to be expected that one of the groups will do an objective assessment and say “Ok, we admit their solution is much better than ours. We’ll just ditch ours and pay the other group the royalties for using their standard”. No way! Even because history tells us that not always the best format wins, as was proven by the Betamax vs VHS format war. So, even though I didn’t really follow all the developments which led to the demise of HD-DVD, it seems to me that stating after the fact that the outcome was obvious is perhaps not really fair. Perhaps Toshiba and the rest of the HD-DVD consortium had reasonable expectations that they could market their way over BluRay. By the way, this Saturday’s Euro-lotto numbers were 10 20 22 24 31 + 2 7. Man, could they be any more obvious? Why didn’t I play with those?

  2. Disputatore Says:

    Sorry, forgot to click on the notify box. Carry on

  3. Tech Says:

    Toshiba had no other choice with the collapse of their HD DVD format.

  4. Seumas Says:

    I suppose Apple is hedging their bets on digital-only distribution, but I sure wouldn’t mind if my MBP had a nice bluray drive in it.

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