updated 03:35 pm EST, Fri February 22, 2008
Japan Pulls HD DVD
Not willing to wait until the official shutdown of production in March, Japanese retail shops are already pulling all their HD DVD drives and movies off of shelves, according to reports. Although less than a week after Toshiba's withdrawal of the HD DVD standard, several high-profile shops such as Edion and Yodobashi Camera have already halted selling either the players or the movies. Most are reportedly in discussions with Toshiba to send back unsold players and, in the case of Edion, are planning exchange programs where customers can potentially receive a Blu-ray player as a free or low-cost exchange for a now-obsolete HD DVD player.
Other stores in the country, such as Bic Camera, are offering heavy discounts. American resellers have historically fared better with HD DVD and are not known to have pulled their HD DVD offerings from shelves, although embattled retailer CompUSA is understood to have discounted Toshiba's inexpensive HD-A3 player from $150 to $90 in an attempt to clear stock.
Although largely born in Japan through Toshiba, HD DVD was more likely to fare poorly in the country, with the format already accounting for less than 10 percent of sales in the three months before Warner Bros.' switch to Blu-ray in January and the resulting rapid decline of HD DVD in the US.