First HD-DVD Player Hits Shelves in Japan, U.S. Shipments Underway

Posted Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 01:30 PM PST by
toshiba player models With its U.S. debut still weeks away, the world's first HD-DVD player hit stores today in Japan. The new player -- Toshiba's HD-XA1 -- is basically the same as its U.S. counterpart, which is due to hit store shelves Stateside on April 18.

Toshiba held a press conference today in Japan to trumpet the milestone, with its Digital Media Network pres and CEO Yoshihide Fujii praising the company's herculean effort to get the player to market despite numerous technical obstacles, including delays in the AACS copy protection scheme used by HD-DVD. He also took the opportunity to take a few pointed jabs at rival Blu-Ray.

When asked about Blu-Ray's frequently-cited superiority in storage capacity and disc construction, Fujii scoffed at the claims, remarking, "In all aspects, the HD-DVD format is not second to the Blu-Ray format."

Toshiba has also begun shipments of the HD-XA1's U.S. counterparts to its domestic dealers. Let's just hope that after all the rumors, speculation, delays and dire forecasts, the next-gen DVD formats can live up to the hype.
Tags: Hardware, Toshiba (all tags)