Rewind to late 2006, and Toshiba and Sony were locked in mortal combat. The battle to create the definitive high-definition video format raged. In one camp stood Sony's Blu-ray, and in the other Toshiba's inventively titled HD DVD. For those who'd invested hundreds of pounds in a swanky HDTV, this was potentially the first chance they'd get to see their obscenely sized television at its pixel-perfect best. The rivals were well matched. Both employed DVD-sized discs, and as the video and audio codecs used to compress the huge amounts of video and audio data were nigh-on identical, the quality was indiscernible. With the stage set, consumers rushed to their local retailer, chose the cheaper of the two, and made their HD allegiance known with the swipe of a credit card. But despite HD DVD players often proving cheaper than their Blu-ray brethren, Sony had its very own Trojan horse. Every one of Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles included a Blu-ray drive as standard, allowing the company to establish a beach head in the homes of gamers. Those Hollywood motion picture studios that hadn't already chosen sides slowly and inexorably fell under Sony's blue glow, and any that had chosen to back both stopped answering Toshiba's calls.In February 2008, Toshiba limped out of the high-definition war, bruised and battered, with millions of dollars lost in wasted research and design. Eighteen months on, Toshiba applied for membership of the Blu-ray Disc Association.
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