• Kyodo News

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Toshiba Corp. said Monday the first HD DVD-format players to be sold in Australia will hit the market in December.

Toshiba will launch the HD-E1 in mid-December and introduce the HD-XE1, a step-up version, in February, it said. Prices are set at 1,099 Australian dollars for the HD-E1 and A$1,599 for the HD-XE1.

The players will offer high-definition picture quality and disks that pack more content.

The company plans to launch HD DVD-format players for the first time in Europe starting in mid-November.

Toshiba is the leader of a group of companies including NEC Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. that support HD DVD, a high-definition format that is competing with the Blu-ray format advocated by Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and other firms, to become the next-generation global DVD standard.

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