Just as the number of release dates for High Definition related content was snowballing Toshiba has pulled back the launch of its HD DVD players.
The postponement duration was not specified and follows news that Hollywood film studios were struggling to have titles available for the March kick off. Most notable among these is Time Warner’s Home Video Unit which said no HD DVD content will arrive from its factories until 18 April.
Speaking out on the delay Tosh spokesman Junko Furuta said in a statement that the company is “currently working with major studios and major retailers to finalise sales dates of our players”. Toshiba’s new HD DVD players: the HD-XA1 and HD-A1 - which carry RRPs of $799 and $499 respectively - were due to surface in retail stores any day but the announcement looks set to push that back to late April.
With Blu-ray drives and players slowly appearing online as we speak the hold up will be a blow to Toshiba and its – arguably – underdog format. It had long maintained HD DVD would beat Blu-ray onto shelves but that battle has now been lost. We won’t know for a while whether it plays a significant role in who wins the war.