Samsung today confirmed to Pocket-lint that they are pushing on with getting the winning next-gen disc format wider acceptance in the UK by launching their notebook and desktop Blu-ray drives in late summer this year.
"The format war was confusing consumers", said a Samsung insider. "But our engineers didn't stop developing the Blu-ray drives."
Samsung will be looking to launch a drive capable of reading and writing Blu-ray discs, but suprisingly, considering the company's previous pro-Blu stance, it will also offer read capabilites for HD DVD for desktop and notebook users. Spec and speeds were not revealed at this early stage.
"There are still HD DVD discs that people want to read; but no one wants to write to that format", confirmed our source. The aim will be to provide a solution allowing users to still access content on the now obsolete high-def format.
In March Samsung cancelled the UK launch of its dual format HD disc player, the BD-UP5500 Duo, stating that "It remains a practical solution, but the window of opportunity is smaller than it was before. In light of recent announcements, Samsung will not introduce the BD-UP5500 Duo HD Player".
Samsung confirmed that their drives should be available in August 2008, we'll bring you more nearer the time.
UPDATE: Samsung have contacted us to say that whilst support for HD DVD is technically viable and remains an option, a decision has not yet been reached as to whether this will be incorporated into the final drives and now looks highly unlikely. They also confirmed prototype samples will be available to their technology partners and finalised product being available by end of this year.