Toshiba Boss Downplays Loss in Disc War

It may come as no great shock to a lot of industry observers that Toshiba is not seeing it’s long hard-fought and expensive fight to establish HD DVD as the disc standard for HD consumers as just another failure in a world that has its share of winners and losers. At one point, Toshiba Corp. Chief Executive Atsutoshi Nishida said in a Wall Street Journal Q&A that HD DVD was just one of 45 current Toshiba priorities, and its loss means it still has 44 to work on.

Nishida said his firm’s production of HD set and PCs—and especially standard DVD players—will continue without interruption. “What people don’t realize is that Hollywood studios are going to release new titles not just for Blu-ray but for standard DVDs as well, and there are a far greater number of current-generation DVD players out there. If you watch standard DVDs on our players, the images are of very high quality because they include an upconverting feature. And we’re going to improve this even more, so that consumers won’t be able to tell the difference from HD DVD images,” Nishida said.

Having said that, he apparently wasn’t asked why Toshiba had even bothered to devise and market the HD DVD would-be standard and take on Sony and Blu-ray Disc if it knew it could come up with a less expensive upconverted HD DVD-like format that it thought few consumers could discern from real HD.