Toshiba didn’t waste any time responding to Warner’s move to drop HD DVD.
My summary: “Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Damn that hurts. How are we going to salvage this? Stall for time.”
It actually sounds a bit peevish in the first paragraph, almost “How dare you do this?! I thought we were friends!” kind of tone. And a hint of veiled threat with the mention of contracts between the companies for HD DVD support. And then a reference to the ‘significant momentum’ HD DVD gained in 2007 – sure, which still significantly lags behind the even greater gains by BD.
I think Toshiba is really shaken by this, no matter what they end up with as their final stance. It will be hard not to gloat in person at their booth at CES. For the past several years I’ve had their booth reps pitch HD DVD to me and I kept telling them I wasn’t interested and that BD was going to win anyway.
EDIT: And now the HD DVD Promotional Group has chimed in too.
The full press release:
Jan 4, 2008 18:04 ET
Toshiba’s Comment on Announcement from Warner Bros. Entertainment of Its Exclusive Support for Blu-ray Disc Format
TOKYO, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ — Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.
We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.
We will assess the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluate potential next steps. We remain firm in our belief that HD DVD is the format best suited to the wants and needs of the consumer.
Press Contact Corporate Communications Office Keisuke Ohmori +81-3-3457-2105 http://www.toshiba.co.jp/contact/media.htm
CONTACT: Keisuke Ohmori, Corporate Communications Office of Toshiba,
Web site: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/