According to a Reuters report officials from Toshiba have stated that the company may delay its launch of next generation HD-DVD players from the end of this year. The company indicated that any change in the launch schedule would be to “maximize potential demand” for the new products.
The company appeared anxious to clarify that it had in no way abandoned the HD-DVD format, following failed talks
with Sony to agree on a unified next generation format involving that company’s Blu-Ray disc technology.
Toshiba, along with its technology partners NEC and Sanyo had planned to launch HD-DVD players this winter in Japan the U.S., significantly earlier than the first use of Blu-Ray in the PlayStation 3 next spring. Although HD-DVD technology will not be used in any currently announced next generation console, Microsoft has long favored the format and has even hinted that some form of HD-DVD drive will be made available for the Xbox 360 at a later stage (the initial console versions will ship only with a standard DVD drive).
"We are now in talks with Hollywood studios and large-scale retailers to seek the most effective timing of the launch and best way to launch," a Toshiba spokeswoman said. "We originally aimed for the year-end launch in the United States. But we have not really decided on that." The spokeswoman subsequently conceded that there was a chance the products will not launch in Japan until after December.