Could this be the first sign of real trouble for Toshiba on the front lines of the next generation DVD format war? Reports are surfacing that Toshiba is delaying the release of the first HD DVD players, and that the launch will not happen now until early next year. Hopes for a Xmas release of the players have now come to nothing, it seems.

Meanwhile, the Blu-ray Disc camp seems to be acting like it has already won the war. With 90 per cent of consumer electronics firms and seven movie studios now backing Blu-ray, things are looking good for that format at present. But is the war really over?

'There's no format war looming because it's not Blu-ray versus HD DVD,' according to Andy Parson, senior vice president of Advanced Product Development for Pioneer Electronics, a leading Blu-ray backer. 'It's simply Blu-ray versus standard DVD.'
How exactly this will all work out certainly remains to be seen. It’s without a doubt that both sides have heavily invested time and money in their respective formats, and it’s unlikely that either will give up without a huge fight for the hearts and minds of consumers.

The first Blu-ray devices will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and will be available to buy in the spring of next year.