Toshiba Planning Make Blu-ray Disc Players

Toshiba is planning to make products that can play Blu-ray discs.

The decision marks a big change for the electronics firm which was the prime mover of the rival HD-DVD format.

Blu-ray and HD-DVD went head-to-head to see who could dominate the burgeoning market for movies produced in the high definition format, BBC News reports.

Toshiba, of course, was the champion of the HD-DVD format, but ended up losing out to Blu-ray in the marketplace. HD DVD died in February 2008, following decisions by Warner Bros. and Wal-Mart to drop the format.

“In light of recent growth in digital devices supporting the Blu-ray format, combined with market demand from consumers and retailers alike, Toshiba has decided to join the BDA," Toshiba said in a statement.

"Toshiba aims to introduce digital products that support the Blu-ray format, including BD players and notebook PCs integrating BD drives, in the course of this year," the company added. "Details of the products, including the timing of regional launches, are now under consideration. We will make announcements in due course," PC Magazine reports.

Meanwhile, the Blu-ray alliance, backed by Japanese rivals Sony Corp., Panasonic Corp. and others, had been more successful in wooing Hollywood studios.

Some kind of decision from Toshiba had been expected ahead of the key year-end shopping season.

Apart from home entertainment products, Toshiba is also a large maker of PCs, in which Blu-ray drives are slowly supplanting DVD drives. Without Blu-ray drives, Toshiba laptops could have lost out to other manufacturers, The Associated Press reports.