updated 07:40 am EDT, Mon August 10, 2009
Toshiba BDA Application
Toshiba started the week by revealing that it hopes to join the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). The company explained the move as a reaction to "recent growth" in the amount of hardware supporting Blu-ray along with high-enough demand from the public itself. If accepted, the Japanese firm plans to make both Blu-ray movie players, drives for computers and notebooks themselves using the large-capacity format.
The decision is a sharp reversal of attitudes for Toshiba. After deciding to abandon HD DVD following its rapid decline in early 2008, the company actively resisted adopting Blu-ray as a matter of pride and instead claimed it would focus on upscaling DVD players and storage for downloadable movies. Executives at Toshiba have never said how well the strategy has worked since.
Moving to Blu-ray should significantly aid the spread of the 50GB discs among computers, where companies like Dell and HP have been quick to adopt drives but have had a limited choice of suppliers. Apple has been a member of the BDA for a long time but is only now believed to be expanding Blu-ray support; it recently added Blu-ray burning to its new Final Cut Studio suite.
The move may also have an impact on the Xbox 360. Toshiba supplied now discontinued external HD DVD drive for the Microsoft game system; rumors have surfaced that its acceptance of the rival format will rekindle plans for an Xbox 360 Blu-ray player to both replace the old peripheral as well as prevent customers from buying a PlayStation 3.