Toshiba considering products in the Blu-ray format that beat its HD-DVD standard

By Yuri Kageyama, AP
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Toshiba likely to embrace one-time rival Blu-ray

TOKYO — After losing its battle to make the HD-DVD the successor to the DVD, Toshiba Corp. is considering making products in the winning format, Blu-ray.

Although Blu-ray is backed by Toshiba competitors such as Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., Toshiba has little choice. It no longer makes recorders and players in HD-DVD. The Blu-ray alliance was more successful in wooing Hollywood studios.

The Yomiuri, Japan’s biggest newspaper, reported Sunday without identifying sources that Toshiba plans to enter the Blu-ray market. Toshiba spokeswoman Yuko Sugahara would not confirm the report.

“It is true that we are being flexible in looking into such possibilities. But at this point no decision has been made,” she said Tuesday.

The move would be reminiscent of Sony’s strategy after its Betamax videotape standard lost to Panasonic’s VHS in the 1980s. Sony ended up making VHS products.

The Blu-ray market could be too lucrative for Toshiba to pass up. The Japanese electronics maker racked up its biggest loss ever, 344 billion yen ($3.7 billion) in its last fiscal year, which ended in March.

Apart from home entertainment products, Toshiba is also a large maker of PCs, in which Blu-ray drives are slowly supplanting DVD drives. Without Blu-ray drives, Toshiba laptops could lose out to other manufacturers.

will not be displayed