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Monday, February 25, 2008
Japanese Stores Take HD DVD Off Shelves

Major Japanese electronics stores have stopped selling HD DVD machines after their maker Toshiba conceded defeat to Sony's Blu-ray in the battle to set the next-generation DVD standard.

As of Friday, six major Japanese electronics retailers -- Yodobashi Camera, Kojima, Nojima, Edion, Best Denki and Joshin Denki -- had suspended all sales of HD DVD, company officials said.

The chains are in talks with Toshiba for the electronics giant to take back its stock either fully or partially.

Edion, which operates 1,000 stores across Japan under various names, announced an offer for any customer who bought HD DVD hardware from Toshiba to switch for a Blu-ray machine sold by Sony, Panasonic or Sharp.

The offer is available only in March, with customers expected to pay any price difference if the Blu-ray machine was more expensive.

Some stores, notably the major chain Bic Camera, continue to sell, at a reduced price, HD DVD machines that can record television shows. HD DVD blank disks are expected to remain on the market.

Toshiba said it has sold 30,000 HD DVD decks in Japan, accounting for only five percent of its HD DVD sales across the world.

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