LAS VEGAS -- New movie releases, more market entrants, improved technology and 1.8 million HD DVD players from Toshiba are the weapons companies plan to use in the format battle against rival Blu-ray Disc this year, executives said Sunday. By the end of 2007, there will be 600 movies available for users with an HD DVD player or drive, said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Japanese electronics giant will release the next generation of its HD DVD players this year, including the HD A20 HD DVD player announced earlier on Sunday.
The vendor will also add a huge number of total players shipped in North America alone, 1.8 million, said Yoshihide Fujii, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Toshiba's digital media network company. "This is a very conservative figure," he said. In addition, the HD DVD trade group expects revenue for HD DVD players, drives and discs in North America this year to top $600 million, said Kornblau.