eWeek reports today that Toshiba released their new HD DVD players in Japan. That makes Toshiba the first CE manufacturer to release a next-generation DVD player.

Toshiba said its new HD DVD machines, which will compete with rival Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray technology, will sell for about 110,000 yen ($940) in Japan. Sony aims to offer Blu-ray-based players in the United States for around $1,000 in July.

MSNBC has photos from the launch, and notes that "Toshiba is promising a cheaper HD DVD player for the U.S. market at $499, but won't offer it in Japan because of the different nature of the markets..."

You can see Toshiba's HD DVD player available for pre-order on Amazon for $499...

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