Hisatsugu Nonaka, Senior Vice President at Toshiba, recently announced Toshiba’s plans to include HD-DVD drives
on all its laptops from next year as it tries to gain ground in the next-generation DVD format battle.
"The demand is there: people want to watch their favorite movies in high-definition on the road," he said.
The strategy mirrors Sony’s decision to equip its PlayStation 3 game consoles with Blu-ray disc drives, a move that has been responsible in great part for boosting the demand for high-definition Blu-ray movies. In 2006, sales of HD DVD movies lead Blu-ray, but after the PS3 launch in November, the optical format supported by Sony has reportedly led the charts in 2007.
While it remains uncertain what effect this will have on the prices of its laptops, typically bundling the high definition drives have resulted in higher retail costs and could definitely hurt sales. Toshiba – the world's No. 2 Nand flash manufacturer – also announced it would sell laptops using flash memory for storage starting 22 June.