Toshiba's admission of defeat in the Hi-Def disc format wars came one day before Sony sold its Cell Processor fabrication off to... Toshiba.Reuters
confirmed our October 2007 story
of the 90-billion yen (£430M) sale. It included the information that, "The equipment will be used by their (Toshiba's) semiconductor joint venture that will make high-performance Cell chips and RSX graphic chips, both used in Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, as well as other microchips that go into Toshiba products."
Therefore, the more PS3s sold, the more money Toshiba stands to make. Isn't big business great?
So, how have Toshiba executives been spinning the HD-DVD demise? Mark Whittard is general manager of Toshiba's Information Systems Division in Australia. Yesterday in a press conference
Mark Whittard said the following regarding the HD-DVD format that went the way of Betamax and Tab Clear.
"The projected lifespan of HD DVD has shortened significantly due to the acceleration of digital content distribution via the internet."
So, the format wasn't killed due to Hollywood studios pulling out - it simply had its lifespan "shortened significantly". There's a line to use at the next funeral you have to attend.
Whittard's statement came on the same day as Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms, told the world
, "The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate.
"While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalogue titles on Blu-ray."
Let's not stop Mark Whittard in his tracks though. Let us not forget that this was the executive who, in July 2006, told Australia's IT Wire
, "The Xbox is coming out with an HD DVD player towards the end of this year. With Microsoft’s marketing engine behind HD DVD, who knows what will happen.
"I would imagine that there are plans in place to put an HD DVD drive internally in future revisions of the product. They're not speaking about it publicly at the moment but I would expect them to do that and fairly soon."
Back to the present day, and Whittard is unstoppable. Yesterday he was also prepared to say
that, "We believe that technology developments will leapfrog high definition, whether it be HD DVD or Blu-ray discs.
"They (the consumer) can still play their CDs, they can still play their DVD library. They can also upscale their DVDs to enjoy a high definition picture", he continued.
So, basically, the whole Hi-Def format war was a bad idea in the first place, because digital downloads were going were going to leapfrog boring old discs? And, while being leapfrogged by the new new downloady, Hi-Def discs were also being undermined by good old DVDs that can be upscaled to HD anyway?
You can have it both ways!
Mark is a serious business type, though. He won't brook any dissent from consumers. So, when asked about refunds for punters who have invested in a format that, by its own admission, Toshiba sees as about as good as upscaled DVD, he responded as follows:
"It’s not our intention to take returns, because of the inherent value in the players".
That will be the upscaling then. Just in case the customers were still a little (childishly) annoyed, Mark went all Business 101 on them, saying:
"They [customers] understood that there were two competing formats and understood that one of them would probably prevail ... so they made the decision to go with HD DVD.''
Let's leave Mark thrashing around in a word-net of his own making with his response to the question of whether Tosh' would adopt Blu-ray. "Never say never, but we have no plans at this stage", says Mark.Additional Source: The Australian