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Toshiba "disappointed" at Woolworths HD-DVD snub

Toshiba has told GamesIndustry.biz that it is disappointed that High Street retailer Woolworths has decided to drop the HD-DVD movie format from its stores this March.

Toshiba has told GamesIndustry.biz that it is disappointed that High Street retailer Woolworths has decided to drop the HD-DVD movie format from its stores this March.

The retailer said today that it will be backing the rival Blu-ray format exclusively following a Christmas sales period that saw HD-DVD movies outsold by ten-to-one.

But Toshiba has stated that in the UK at least, HD-DVD movies account for 60 per cent of high-definition movie sales, and that a proliferation of cheap hardware means HD-DVD should not be ruled out as a successful new format.

"While we're disappointed by Woolworths' decision, it is extremely early to spot which format will eventually win," commented Oliver Van Wynendaele, euro assistant general manager of Toshiba's Consumer Products Division.

"We have been hugely successful in expanding the number of consumers owning HD-DVD players. UK consumers can now pick-up an HD-DVD player for less than GBP 150, around half the cost of other HD formats.

"Even before pricing reached this level, HD-DVD represented more than 60 per cent of the overall standalone high definition market," he said.

Van Wynendaele also stated that figures show that the attach rate of HD-DVD movies to their hardware is higher than that of Blu-ray with its respective players.

"HD-DVD has always enjoyed greater software sales per player than any other HD format. In fact, HD-DVD owners have already bought around 3.5 movies each, compared to less than one movie sold per Blu-ray device," he said.

Woolworths will continue to sell the HD-DVD format via its website.

The ability to play Blu-ray content is an integral part of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, while Microsoft has been backing the other format by selling a HD-DVD peripheral for its Xbox 360 player.

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