GamesIndustry.Biz writes: Although ostensibly a Toshiba-backed format, HD-DVD's most staunch ally in the past year has been Microsoft. Its HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 accounts for around a third of total sales of HD-DVD players, and there have been credible reports that the format's studio support was being propped up by co-marketing deals funded from Microsoft's expansive purse.
Microsoft's objective in all of this was simply to prolong the agony of the high-definition format war. Divide and conquer has been a strategy that has served Microsoft well over the years, and its ambitions with regard to high definition content are very clear.
It's not fair, perhaps, to say that Microsoft's gambit has failed. If Blu-Ray had become established a year earlier, it would have been a serious blow to the Xbox 360, and to Microsoft's ambitions both in downloads and in videogames.