The HD DVD format is one of two competing standards to replace the existing DVD standard for very high density disks suitable for HDTV content. It is the likely target format for the HDTV office to use for backups and for video archiving since it is backwards compatible with existing DVDformats.

Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Toshiba and Sanyo support HDDVD. However the new MS XBox360 will have a regular DVD, not HD-DVD, and so no major product seems to have been affected by the announcement.

It's competitor has 40% more space than HDDVD per
layer, but is not compatible with any existing DVD disc: Blu-ray Disc is backed by Sony and allies including the two biggest personal computer manufacturers, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, plus Apple and
Sun Microsystems. More importantly it contains other DVD device makers LG, Matsushita, Samsung, Philips, Pioneer, Hitachi,
Mitsubishi. Some suspect that these makers see a market for old DVD players to coexist alongside one for Blu-ray players.

Beta vs. VHS

Similar to Beta vs. VHS in the 1980s, the technically superior but incompatible standard backed by Sony is up against an inferior, cheaper to manufacture, standard backed by the rest of the industry. Two critical players are movie studies and console game box makers. They're split:

Of studios, it's Warner, Universal and
Paramount vs Columbia/Tristar/MGM, Disney and Fox.

Both X360 and Nintendo Revolution are DVD players with PS3
being one of the 1st BluRay players to make it into the market.

HDDVD was suppose to be released in Q4 05 to beat BluRay to market, but as of 2005-09 it was expected to be available in March 06, roughly the same time
that the PS3 is to launch in Japan.