Ever since the (not so?) great mass defection of 2007-2008, it has been expected that Microsoft would at some point, abandon their own support of the HD DVD format. If you've taken a peek at Gamerscore since Saturday, you probably saw them announce just that:
"As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD. Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market. As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. HD-DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and 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."
Not the best of news for those that hoped that the struggling format would finally take off and fly on its own, but there is one silver lining in this situation -- it has zero effect on the Xbox 360 and its games. The announcement should also put those bothersome rumors of yet another SKU with an internal HD DVD drive to rest. If only we could now get rid of the current scuttlebutt calling for the notably green console to transform into something a little more Blu-ray. When are people going to lose those silly notions that add-ons just don't cut it?
I always thought of it as prudent on MS's part not to shove HD DVD down our throats from the start. It was just too risky. As history now shows, it would appear that they made the right choice, and it looks like good old fashioned DVD may be here to stay for a while longer -- at least until Blu-ray players and the disks themselves start matching the price-point that the mainstream finds comfort in.