Toshiba has just announced that it plans to begin selling HD-DVD players in the U.S. in October- December of 2005 at a retail price of $999.The group promoting the high-definition, or HD-DVD format expects to sell 1 million units of its DVD players worldwide in 2006 and will aim to lower the sales price to around $500 that year, a Toshiba spokesman said Tuesday.Toshiba and NEC jointly developed the new DVD format as the successor to the current generation of DVDs. Sanyo has also endorsed the new HD-DVD format.With the price of current DVD players continuing to fall, “it would be difficult to win consumer support unless the price of the new players are initially below $1,000,” the Toshiba spokesman said.The race for leadership in the next-generation DVD format is heating up. An international group including Sony and Matsushita is promoting a different next-generation DVD format called the Blu-ray Disc.Sony and Matsushita are ahead of their rivals in introducing Blu-ray Disc equipment as they have already released Blu-ray Disc recorders in Japan. But the two firms haven’t introduced Blu-ray Disc “players” because the Blu-ray Disc Association has yet to create a read-only disc format. Such a format is required to market DVD movie software. Widespread use of movie DVDs is seen as key to spreading the new DVD format.Sony Senior Vice President Kiyoshi Nishitani said earlier this month the electronics and entertainment media giant is preparing to launch both Blu-ray DVD players/recorders and movie DVD packages in late 2005.Sanyo is planning to launch its HD DVD player in the autumn of 2005 and its HD DVD recorder in the fiscal year starting April 2006. Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.