Microsoft drops HD-DVD support

Microsoft drops HD-DVD support

Another nail in the coffin

Microsoft has announced that it is dropping support for the HD-DVD standard.

The move is another nail in the coffin for the format, which has been discontinued by its main sponsor Toshiba and almost every film studio.

Now Microsoft, which as late as last week was saying it would continue to manufacture an HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360, will no longer make the disk players.

"HD-DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers," Blair Westlake, a corporate vice president at Microsoft's media and entertainment group, said in a written statement.

"We will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own."

Some 300,000 people have bought Microsoft's HD-DVD drive for the games console at around $130 apiece.

However, retailers are reporting that HD-DVD drives are still popular with shoppers looking for a bargain.

"The fallout from this means that some of the best DVD players will be leaving our shelves for as little as £114.90," said Dominic Yacoubian, managing director of 247 Electrical.

"This is a really great opportunity for people who want a quality DVD player. Don't forget that HD-DVD also plays ordinary DVDs and CDs.

"But the window of opportunity will be small. Once the stock has been sold that will be that."