Toshiba Jumps on Blu-Ray Bandwagon

Will detail products later this year

Consumer electronics manufacturer Toshiba, which developed the HD-DVD high-definition optical disc format and engaged in a lengthy format war with Sony's competing Blu-ray format before dropping HD-DVD production last year, officially announced today that it will make Blu-ray players.

"To meet the increasing consumer demand for high-definition content, Toshiba America Consumer Products L.L.C. will be entering the Blu-ray market," said the company in a statement. "We will share additional product information and details later this year."

The move should give additional momentum to the Blu-ray format, which has gained traction with more affordable players and a growing library of available content but is facing increasing competition from online movie services such as Netflix and Vudu, which stream movies through the Internet to consumers' TVs.

HD-DVD, which was backed by Microsoft and supported in its Xbox game consoles, gave Blu-ray a strong fight until the eve of the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show when Warner Bros. announced plans to offer its HD movie titles exclusively in Blu-ray. Toshiba officially announced that it was discontinuing HD-DVD in February 2008.