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Toshiba gives up HD DVD player launch by year-end.

TOKYO, Dec. 13 Kyodo

Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it will delay the launch of its next-generation HD DVD players in Japan from the original deadline of the end of this year so as to clear up copy protection issues.

While noting it will not launch the products until the details of its copy protection management systems are finalized, the company said in a statement that it will continue to push for a U.S. launch in the first quarter of 2006.

''HD DVD has won broad recognition and support from consumers and the industry as the superior format for next-generation optical disc systems, and Toshiba will continue to work with our many industry partners for the early launch of HD DVD products,'' it said.

A Toshiba-led group has been waging a fierce battle over the next-generation DVD format with a rival group, led by Sony Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which promote the Blu-ray format.

To gain the upper hand in the market, Toshiba had sought to introduce HD DVD players ahead of Sony's planned launch of its new PlayStation game console with a Blu-ray disc drive next spring.
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Publication:Japan Consumer Electronics Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Dec 19, 2005
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