Forget all those retailers and studios abandoning HD DVD. Here's the biggest domino to fall: Toshiba, which was surely the biggest and most important exclusive supporter from the beginning, releasing the first commercially available HD DVD player back in 2006. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Japanese company is expected to discontinue production of HD DVD products, including players and other devices related to the format. Apparently, however, they will continue selling existing equipment and have only ceased development and manufacture of new HD DVD products. There has been no formal announcement, though, from Toshiba. The trade quotes a vp of marketing for Toshiba America as saying the company still believes HD DVD to be technologically the best high-def format (over Blu-Ray) for customers. The decision, if in fact true, comes on the heels of, and is surely an effect of, last month's news that Warner Bros. and then (maybe) Paramount were going Blu-ray exclusive and recent announcements from Netflix, Best Buy, Blockbuster and Wal-Mart that they would each stop renting and/or selling HD DVD discs (or in Best Buy's case, stop selling HD DVD players yet continue selling the discs, but push/recommend Blu-Ray as the favored format) within the year.

The Hollywood Reporter details some of the more recent HD DVD history, including Toshiba's desperate moves to stay in the game after Warner's abandonment. The company significantly cut the cost of their players, but still Blu-ray was the champion in the market. Additionally, new Blu-ray movie titles are constantly out-selling new HD DVD movie titles. The trade mentions that Toshiba's "last ditch effort" was a TV commercial that ran during the Super Bowl and which cost the company $2.7 million. Now all eyes are on the few HD DVD supporters that are left: Microsoft; Universal; DreamWorks and Paramount. How long before they all admit defeat? Within the week?