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Posts with tag format-war

Future Shop offers $100 trade for HD DVD players

We didn't think HD DVD early adopters could get any luckier when Best Buy started handing out $50 gift cards, but we were wrong. Future Shop, Canada's largest retailer of consumer electronics, is offering a $100 trade-in promotion on all HD DVD players towards the purchase of select Samsung or LG model Blu-ray / HD DVD combo players (which retail for $499.99 CND each).

Future Shop has sweetened the deal to consumers by promising to donate returned HD DVD Players the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada for use in their after-school and evening programs. Charity and a discount in the HD format war? That's the Canadian hospitality we're accustomed to hearing about!

The promotion began on March 7 and will run until April 3 across Canada.

Blu-ray Xbox 360 add-on rumor resurfaces

Yesterday our email exploded with news tips regarding the latest in the Blu-ray Saga. In an interview with the Financial Times, Sony Electronics US president Stan Glasgow proclaimed, "Sony is in talks with console rival Microsoft about offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360." While Microsoft has since denied any HD discussions are happening with Sony, we remember that a few MS execs let it slip that this could be an option if Blu-ray won the "war," which it did. One thing to keep in mind Xbox fanboys, this decision stems from wanting to offer multiple avenues to HD content to Xbox 360 users and doesn't mean we'll see that new SKU that slaps Master Chief's next outing on a BD disc. At least we think.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Eulogy for the officially dead HD DVD format

Our friends at Engadget Japan (English link) were able to live blog a press conference that ended a few hours ago where Toshiba president Nishida-san officially confirmed earlier reports that HD DVD had fallen for good in the console war. During the conference a lot of numbers were dropped on the overall impact of the HD DVD format, but instead of just dolling out the info like we've been doing all week long we thought we would write a letter to our downed friend and tell him how we really felt.

Dear HD DVD,
Hey, it's everyone here at X3F. So you had a good decent run in the high definition format war and it didn't go the way you hoped. Now, like all those ET cartridges buried in the desert, you've found a new home padding Nevada for some kind of future nuclear test. Take solace in the fact that you have around 730,000 HD DVD players worldwide taking up space in homes like an overweight passenger who has to buy two seats on a United flight. Our fans made up for 300,000 of those units by way of the Xbox 360 add-on and while we here at X3F tried to give you as many shout-outs as possible it just didn't look like you were getting on anyone's good side.

It's funny, this whole thing really has nothing to do with video games but we keep talking about you. Maybe it's because of the whole Xbox 360 add-on thing or maybe we're just trying to ignore the fact that a new optical format in the age of digital distribution makes about as much sense as controlling an escalator with a chicken-n-beef burrito. So will Toshiba start making Blu-ray players or begin work on a new format? They won't say. What we know for sure is that somewhere Michael Bay is licking the sweet tears off of an HD DVD owner's face while pumping a fist to the sky crying for the head of Mr. Bill Gates. Wow, that rhymed! We're poet's and we didn't even know it! Nice, two for two.

With love,

Rumor: Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on by May

While haven't seen this much side stepping since our annual Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance tournaments ended, it looks like HD DVD is a few steps from being officially gone and a rehash of an old rumor isn't helping the situation. Reports are coming in from Australia's Smarthouse citing "insiders at Microsoft in the USA," claiming that a Blu-ray add-on is already well in development and could be ready to launch in as little as three months.

Microsoft has yet to comment on the validity of the report but according to a story on Engadget they've said, "we will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player." Since Microsoft has little to do with this format war it wouldn't be surprising to see a Blu-ray add-on in the mix sometime in the future, they've even said it could happen a few times already.

[via Joystiq]

Stick a fork in HD DVD it's done

According to Engadget, sources from across the globe are confirming earlier reports that Toshiba would be bowing out of the optical disc format war, but it will happen sooner than we originally heard. Reuters and the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) claim to have inside sources that confirm that Toshiba is officially retiring the HD DVD format as soon as possible and will be shutting down its DVD factories in Aomori Prefecture located in northern Japan. The shutdown will reportedly cost Toshiba hundreds of millions of dollars.

The death spiral of HD DVD seemed to have been kick started in June 2007, when the corporate rental giant Blockbuster said they would only carry Blu-ray within it's retail locations. Then in early January 2008, Warner Bros. confirmed they would drop HD DVD in favor of the Sony backed - but not owned - Blu-ray format. Earlier this week HD DVD was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked as Netflix and Wal-Mart chose to support Blu in this completely ridiculous interesting format war.

While we wait for official word Stateside from Toshiba it certainly looks like this format war is completely done-zos.

Wal-Mart goes Blu-Ray Exclusive

We could literally copy and paste the same news we've been reporting all week and just change the company names and this news story would make perfect sense. In a move that shocked no one, Wal-Mart has announced that they are exclusively backing Blu-Ray in the next generation optical disc war according to Reuters. Following nearly every major studio, Netflix, and Blockbuster retail locations, Wal-Mart is one of the last companies to choose a side and it's possible that their weight in the market may officially call this war off.

When contacted, a Wal-Mart representative also told Joystiq that the company would "exclusively carry blu-ray players," leaving us to wonder about the fate of the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on. While Joystiq's Alexander Sliwinski said no confirmation has been made, cold calls made to 10 different Wal-Mart locations yielded zero no luck finding the HD add-on to our favorite machine.

[Via Joystiq]

Rumor: Toshiba gearing up to drop HD DVD

Our friends at Engadget stumbled upon information that seems to mark the final nail in the HD DVD coffin. Citing unnamed industry sources, The Hollywood Reporter says they've been told the dying format will be buried in the next coming weeks. Jodi Sally, vp of marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products insists that nothing has been confirmed for the future of HD DVD saying, "based on its technological advancements, we continue to believe HD DVD is the best format for consumers, given the value and consistent quality inherent in our player offerings."

While nothing has been set in stone for the format Sally did offer a hint that Toshiba is considering the exodus of the HD format. "Given the market developments in the past month," she said, "Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players."

After the recent announcements of studios, retailers and rental companies ditching the format is anyone really surprised that HD DVD will go the way of the Betamax?

[via Engadget]

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