Toshiba have purchased a 30-second $2.7 million Superbowl advertising slot in a last ditch effort to support the flailing HD-DVD format - having obviously noticed that *no-one* is buying their decks or discs.
I reckon that the very act of doing this magnifies their desperation.
In Peter Chippendale's excellent book "Dished: The Rise and Fall of BSB", he reported that BSB's CEO Anthony Simmonds-Gooding said that on the brink of bankruptcy (prior to the merger with Sky) they had spent so much money marketing the enterprise it would have been cheaper to have just given the Squarials away (and thus built up a large and appreciative audience).
If Toshiba are at the stage of desperately throwing money about, have they not considered building up a user-base by giving away their players for free, like Xerox do with printers? I'd have a free one thanks! The software business realised years ago how to establish a market by initially giving their product away (eg RealPlayer and Macromedia Flash). That $2.7 million could have been used to give away 21,428 $126 Tosh decks to anyone who bought an HD-DVD film from Amazon/HMV/Walmart/whoever - all who would have done the marketing of the great giveaway offer at no cost to Toshiba.
I thought that one of the biggest jaw-drop moments of the 15 Jan Macworld was a comment by Jim Gianopulos, Chairman & CEO of 20th Century Fox. Watch this clip and not only hear Jim declare Blu-ray the winner, listen to the non-partizan audience laugh in mocking agreement. Very telling.
ps Yes Blu-ray is the better technology, but so was Betamax...