In the States, Toshiba has issued a press release stating that it is "stepping up its successful marketing campaign for HD DVD as it experienced record-breaking unit sales in the fourth quarter of 2007".

It's unclear if the company's new plans, described as "major initiatives" are as a result of the recent bad press the format has received following Warner Bros, and subsequent others, dropping the HD platform in favour of rival Blu-ray, or if they were planned for the new year all along.

The new activities to promote HD DVD will include joint advertising campaigns with studios including television, print and online media channels and the extension of competitive pricing strategies.

Stating that it has achieved an "approximately 50 percent market share" in 2007 in the next generation DVD category, the company also highlights the success of the format in hardware sales, claiming an "80 per cent plus" market share of all next generation DVD equipped notebooks for the 4th quarter 2007.

New RRPs for the current range of HD DVD players available in the States are aggressively low and continue the "holiday" promotional prices, effective on January 13, 2008 the price of the entry-level HD-A3 will be $149.99, the HD-A30, with 1080p output, $199.99, and the high-end HD-A35, $299.99.

"While price is one of the consideration elements for the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer", said Yoshi Uchiyama, group vice president Digital A/V Group.

"Consumer sales this holiday season have proven that the consumer awareness of the HD DVD format has been elevated and pricing is the most critical determinant in consumers' purchase decision of the next generation HD DVD technology. The value HD DVD provides to the consumer simply cannot be ignored."

Only time will tell if Toshiba "stepping up" the promotion of their next-gen format is a clever move for currently cash-conscious American consumers, or if it hints of desperation as the format struggles to stay credible.