The HD format wars raged for quite some time with both Blu-ray and HD DVD supporters looking to knock out the other. In late 2007, Toshiba was dealt a blow when Warner announced it would only support the Blu-ray format.
Shortly after the Warner announcement, Toshiba pulled its HD DVD format from the market. Toshiba president Atsutoshi Nishida said at the time HD DVD left the market, "We took a little time before reaching a final decision, so we could give people a chance to voice their opinions and we could consider all the ramifications and consequences of pulling out, such as how it would affect consumers and us. I didn't think we stood a chance after Warner left us because it meant HD DVD would have just 20% to 30% of software market share."
Since the defeat of HD DVD Toshiba has been busy developing other components that could be used to drive HD video in electronic devices. The firm was traditionally very strong in the movie player market for DVD players, being number two behind Sony. Lacking a Blu-ray player meant that Toshiba was ceding the HD movie player market to rivals and leaving money on the table.
It comes as no surprise to learn that Toshiba is now ready to jump into the Blu-ray market. PC World reports that Toshiba has confirmed that it will have a Blu-ray player on the market by the end of the year. Toshiba offered no details on the player, but it’s a good time for the company to get into the Blu-ray market with the players and movies entering what many call the mass market phase with players now readily available for under $200 in stores.
Toshiba is very heavily into the home theater market with TVs and home theater systems and lacking a Blu-ray player meant that the company had a significant hole in its line. Toshiba would also need a player to be able to integrate Blu-ray into its line of HDTVs, which is becoming more common.
According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, Blu-ray has achieved over 50% market share in Japan.