TOKYO The biggest consumer electronic format war in a generation is officially over.
Toshiba, the Japanese electronics giant, threw in the towel on its HD DVD technology Tuesday, announcing that it would no longer develop, produce or market disc players for the format. In doing so, it ceded victory to Sony's competing Blu-ray format, which now looks set to become the global standard for high-definition DVDs.
In a pitched two-year battle, Sony and Toshiba had tried to woo Hollywood studios to release movies in their formats and to persuade computer and game console makers to use their disc drives.
Toshiba's chief executive, Atsutoshi Nishida, said the death blow for HD DVD came in January, when the movie studio Warner Brothers, a unit of Time Warner, decided to drop the format in favor of Blu-ray. He also cited a decision last week by Wal-Mart Stores not to stock discs and players using the Toshiba format.
Nishida said Toshiba would halt all production by the end of March. He also said Toshiba had no plans to begin producing Blu-ray players.