Toshiba To Release Blu-Ray Notebooks & Players

Japanese consumer electronics giant Toshiba is set to release a number of Blu-ray products by the end of the year as the HD-DVD episode is well and truly discarded.

In a short statement, Toshiba said that it had applied to join the Blu-ray Disc association and 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".

Toshiba lost the HD war back in February 2008 to arch-rival Sony when the four biggest movie studios backed Blu-ray rather than the now defunct HD DVD. The technology had the upper hand due partly to the fact that the Playstation 3 gaming console came with a Blu-ray player built in.

The current economic conditions - which saw profits at Toshiba's digital products arm drop by nearly 65 pecent - might have hasten that decision.

It is likely that Blu-ray products will become cheaper in the next few months as more intense competition coupled with the looming arrival of the holiday season bring down the cost of components and profit margins.

There had been a statement issued last month by Toshiba in Japan mentioning the launch of a Blu-ray recorder but nothing more and the manufacturer tried to salvage some dignity by launching a player that was supposed to upscale standard definition content to HD back in June 2008 but without success.