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NEWS: Japanese reports say Toshiba HD DVD shutdown is imminent

Japanese press reports this weekend suggest Toshiba is about to shut down production of HD DVD players at its plant in Aomori, Japan, thus conceding the high-definition format war to Blu-ray Disc.

News services including broadcaster NHK and Reuters reported that sources inside the company had revealed the shutdown, but the company has so far not given any official confirmation.

The report in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper is typical, saying that "According to sources close to Toshiba, the firm will hold a board meeting in the near future to formally decide to abandon production of HD DVD recorders and players and other related accessories."

HD DVD is fighting a losing battle in Japan, as this representation of the domestic high definition disc market, published by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, shows.

The largest share, 61.1%, is held by Sony, the next largest is Panasonic, at 23.7%, and Sharp, at 10.1%, is third. So far, so Blu-ray, leaving Toshiba with just a 5.1% market share for its HD DVD players.