HD DVD: Why it's finally all over

HD DVD limps on, but for how much longer?

2008 has been a horrible year so far for HD DVD supporters and it's about to get worse. News has emerged that both Fox and

Warner Bros

planned to ditch Blu-ray in favour of HD DVD after Christmas - but then changed their minds just days ahead of

CES 2008


Money rears its ugly head, of course, with Warner Bros reputedly paid between $400 million and $500 million to go Blu-ray exclusive, and Fox $120 million, from Sony. However money wasn't the deciding factor, Gizmodo says, likening the amounts of cash involved to a drop in a bucket of a multi-billion dollar industry.

Warner's decision to switch allegiance had the biggest impact. For reasons never made clear, Gizmodo says Warner had a plan to support whichever format Fox did, and that a Fox executive had called Robbie Bach at Microsoft before Christmas to tell him Fox was going HD DVD exclusive.

Sony managed to persuade Fox to stay its hand (along with the $120 million sweetener mentioned above), stopping Warner Bros in its tracks. However Warner Bros also seems to have reached its own conclusion, deciding that support for Blu-ray and HD DVD just wasn't viable - and that Blu-ray promised a better long-term business.

Toshiba needs to call it quits?

As for Paramount, Universal and Dreamworks' continued support for HD DVD, all we're waiting for now is for Toshiba to finally call it a day, and that may not take too long:

"We still feel there's some value in HD DVD," Toshiba's Jodi Sally told Gizmodo. "But we're watching the market closely, waiting to see how sales go". Which is tantamount to saying it's over.

No wonder Toshiba's currently cutting the cost of some of its HD DVD players to below £150 - it's starting to look more like a closing down sale than a reinvigorated push for the mainstream.