Microsoft this afternoon officially withdrew its support for the HD-DVD format. The news is most relevant to Xbox 360 owners, who will no longer be able to purchase new HD-DVD player peripherals.
In a statement, the full transcript of which is below, Microsoft said it was withdrawing its support for HD-DVD following Toshiba’s decision earlier this week to stop manufacturing HD-DVD players. Toshiba’s decision, which essentially means Sony’s Blu-ray Disc format “wins” the high-definition format war, was in turn a response to Warner Bros. announcing it would support Blu-ray exclusively starting in June 2008.
Microsoft’s statement withdrawing support from the HD-DVD format was as follows:
- As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD. Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market. As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.”
Earlier this week, Paramount also announced it would once again support Blu-ray exclusively. Paramount, like Warner Bros., originally supported both formats, but in the fall of 2007, the studio announced it would solely support HD-DVD. In light of Warner Bros.’ and Toshiba’s decisions, Paramount decided to swing its allegiances the other way.
On February 19, Universal also announced plans to support Blu-ray exclusively moving forward.