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New hope for unified next-gen format emerges

There has been yet another development in the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD format war with Toshiba president Yoshihide Fujii revealing that the company is still looking at the possibility of creating a unified format.

There has been yet another development in the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD format war, with Toshiba president Yoshihide Fujii revealing that the company is still looking at the possibility of creating a unified format.

Speaking at a recent press conference, Fujii said Toshiba has "No intention of giving up on creating a single format," according to the Japan Times.

Negotations between HD-DVD proponent Toshiba and Sony, which is backing the rival Blu-Ray format, collapsed in June and since then there has been little to suggest that a unified format could still be a possibility.

Fujii blamed the collapse of the talks on the fact that the Blu-Ray supporters were unable to convince Toshiba that the format's disc structure was reliable. However, he went on, Toshiba is "flexible" and could be willing to compromise.

Fujii said that there is still time for new negotiations to take place but that the deadline for talks would be the end of the year, after which Toshiba plans to put its HD-DVD players on the market for the first time.

His comments came just a day after Microsoft and Intel confirmed their support for the HD-DVD format. Sony supporters Hewlett Packard and Dell were quick to criticise their decision, claiming that the two companies had cited "inaccurate information" about Blu-Ray.

"From a PC end-user perspective, Blu-ray is a superior format," said Hewlett Packard's Maureen Weber.

"Every computer manufacturer in the Blu-Ray Disc Association carefully reviewed both formats and ultimately chose Blu-ray as the superior solution for meeting customer demands and providing the best possible end-user experience.".

"It is surprising that [MS and Intel's] announcement is not aligned with that of the vast majority of the computer industry and is contrary to our consumer research," she added.

Dell founder Michael Dell also took the opportunity to attack the decision at the launch of a new PC line last week, asking the assembled audience: "Which version of Windows was the first to support DVD drives?"

"The answer is none, because there is no DVD codec in Windows, because manufacturers have always provided their own codecs," he said.

Microsoft has said it stands by the decision but is still hopeful that agreement on a unified format can be reached, with Microsoft program manager Richard E. Doherty telling US website GameSpot: "If there is going go be a format war, we really want HD-DVD to be the winner."

However, he added, "We're still very hopeful that a war can be prevented."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.