Toshiba: Please Don't Return Your HD DVD Players

Still reeling from Warner Bros.’s decision to abandon its its HD DVD format for Sony’s Blu-ray, Toshiba did its best to put on a brave face at a CES press conference today. But it’s a hard sell. Reuters:

The room was quiet, but electric, like watching a boxer trying to lift himself off the canvas after being knocked down.

Toshiba digital AV Vice President of marketing Jodi Sally told the audience, “As you can imagine thisĀ is a tough day for me. I’ve had better.” Sally also said HD DVD remained the best technology, adding that Warner’s surprise announcement “shifted” the focus of her speech.

At least Toshiba held a press conference: The HD DVD consortium was so stunned by Warner’s announcement that it canceled its own. Toshiba didn’t reveal what it plans to do next, however (presumably because it doesn’t know).

It will be interesting to see how or if Bill Gates handles the topic at his CES keynote speech today. Gates’ handlers start working on these presentations months in advance, and if the rumormill was accurate, Microsoft was going to announce some sort of HD DVD integration with its Xbox 360 player. We assume Bill’s speech team has been working overtime since Friday afternoon.

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