How much does it cost to lose a format war? One billion dollars (cue maniacal chuckles)

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Now that the dramatic climax to the HD format war is past, Toshiba is starting to pick up the pieces. Naturally, it’s expected to post some big losses after HD DVD’s failed campaign against Blu-ray and the Nikkei Business Daily reckons it can put a figure on just how much it all comes too. Even more conveniently, it rounds out to make a good headline too, to the tune of $1 billion – or 500 million quid if you prefer.

Sony and Microsoft in talks over 360 Blu-ray add-on?

xbox-360-blu-ray.pngSony and Microsoft are now engaged in talks over the possibility of offering a Blu-ray drive for Xbox 360, according to one senior executive.

This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard such rumours. Long before the demise of HD DVD, shadowy unnamed Microsoft types were heard to say that a Blu-ray alternative to the HD DVD add-on would be highly possible. With HD DVD out of the picture, there’s now a good reason for Microsoft to find an alternative accessory to sell to 360 owners.

HD DVD owners in Switzerland can trade for Blu-ray players, sez Sony

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Bless the Swiss. Not only do they give the rest of the world chocolate, Swiss cheese, and beautiful people, but they’re also offering HD DVD owners the opportunity to trade in their obsolete format for a Blu-ray player.

Surprisingly, it’s Sony who’re offering the trade, marking Switzerland as the first country on the map to do so. When buying the BDP-S500…

Laptop specialist Rock grudgingly offers Blu-ray support

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Hardcore power-laptop maker Rock has decided to dump its HD DVD-exclusive stance and let buyers stick Blu-ray drives in its range of gaming laptop beasts should they so desire.

Rock’s CEO Nick Boardman said “We’re disappointed that HD-DVD didn’t make it and we value the support Toshiba has given us. Although Blu-ray has technical advantages…

Dreamworks kills off HD DVD titles, no Blu-ray until the summer

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Yesterday, over at HDTV UK, I responded to the news that Dreamworks somehow remained tied to the HD DVD format, despite Toshiba effectively killing it off.

Today, Dreamworks has announced that it’s killing off the HD DVD format, by not releasing any currently planned or future discs in the format. However, for either contractual or technical reasons — I’m not sure which — they won’t be producing Blu-ray discs until the summer.

New Blu-ray players from Sony announced, the BDP-S350 and BDP-S550

UK pricing and availability hasn’t been confirmed for these two new Blu-ray models, but at US$400 and $500 respectively we can probably expect them to be around £400 and £500 each if Sony glance upon XE.com and choose to ignore what they’re told.

The two models, the BDP-S350 and BDP-S550 both contain Ethernet ports enabling BD-Live content to be perused and even downloaded if the user fancies, to a USB device plugged into the USB port. Other similarities include Sony’s picture-in-picture BonusView, and upscaling of DVDs to 1080p.

The only differences appear to be in the audio department, with the S550 having 7.1 channel analogue outputs and supporting DTS-HD and Master audio support, with both supporting Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus as expected. They can…

As expected, Microsoft confirms the discontinuation of the HD DVD add-on

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows a smidgen of information regarding the events from the last two months’ worth of HD DVD/Blu-ray torment.

With Toshiba’s announcement last Tuesday that they were ceasing their involvement in the HD DVD format, all eyes were on Microsoft and their Xbox 360.

On Saturday, news leaked that the inevitable had occurred, and Microsoft would discontinue their external HD DVD drive, however they will continue to offer technical support and even repair the £99 device if needed. Don’t give up hope on all…