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Toshiba Even More Officially Gives Up the War, Will Launch Blu-Ray Player

Illustration for article titled Toshiba Even More Officially Gives Up the War, Will Launch Blu-Ray Player

Toshiba, the former leader of Blu-Ray's enemy HD-DVD camp, is admitting defeat in the most final way they can: By launching a Blu-Ray player.

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The company's first Blu-Ray/DVD deck should arrive (in Japan first, probably) before Christmas this year, and "sources" say it'll be called the BD-18 (we think. The Google translation is sort of sketchy). We don't know anything else about the alleged player, but we imagine some Toshiba exec is sitting in a bathroom stall, crying quietly and cursing Sony. [Yomiuri via Engadget]

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DISCUSSION

Haha. HD-DVD was superior in a few ways, but not a one of them were technically based. Blu-ray blows it away in technical specs, HD-DVD's advantages were always economic (and those minor advantages evaporated quickly without studio support).

Furthermore, Blu-ray has not been slowly adopting HD-DVD features. Blu-ray has been capable of every technical feat HD-DVD had from the beginning (plus some unique), and all they've added since then is online functionality for extra features. Please, take a look at Watchmen's picture-in-picture commentary and tell me HD-DVD could deliver that same technical feat. Then tell me it could deliver equal picture and sound quality for the entire presentation, bearing in mind that's two separate 1080p video tracks running for just over 3 hours (plus a bunch of "focus points" that add something like 20 more minutes). Oh, and Watchmen is 20.50 at Amazon right now; how much would a HD-DVD version have cost? And be aware that the DVD release is 3 dollars less and that if HD-DVD were around, they'd be charging a premium on it even if production costs didn't merit it.

ps i totally forgot. HD-DVD was first to market, but it certainly was NOT first. Blu-ray was on its way when Toshiba jumped up and said "I'd rather do it this way" and threw HD-DVD out before Blu-ray. Basically, they had the idea for the technology and were working on putting it together, and Toshiba used the same idea to deliver a lower spec'd, cheaper version of the same idea and get it to market before.