Microsoft Corp. said it will stop making HD DVD players for its Xbox 360 video game system after Toshiba Corp. ceded the high-definition video format battle to Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray.
Microsoft said Saturday it would continue to provide standard warranty support for its HD DVD players. Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida last week estimated about 300,000 people own the Microsoft video player, sold as a separate $130 add-on for the Xbox 360.
Support for the HD DVD waned as major movie studios - Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Co., News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. Entertainment - picked Blu-ray to distribute high-def DVDs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. struck what seemed to be the final blow just over a week ago when it said it would only sell Blu-ray players and discs.
Microsoft said it is looking at how the HD DVD technology it has developed, such as HDi, which adds interactive features to HD DVDs, and its VC-1 video encoding technology, can be applied to other platforms.
The Redmond-based software maker said the decision to stop selling HD DVD players won't have a material impact on its video game business.