I’m a bit sad to write this but it looks like Blu-ray is going to win the HD DVD format war now that Warner Bros. has gone Blu-ray exclusive. Now, Blu-ray has a large majority of the studios supporting it – the only exclusive studios supporting HD-DVD are Universal Studios and Paramount. However, there have been rumors that they will also go neutral or Blu-ray exclusive but I don’t think we’ll see them go Blu in the near future since Universal publicly stated that their ‘current plan is to continue to support HD-DVD’ (notice how they used the words “current plan” which tells me they’re starting to think in Blu).
Let’s make this easier, here’s a list of what’s happened since Warner Bros. went Blu-ray exclusive:
- Paramount also says their “current plan” is to stick with HD-DVD
- New Line says they are also going Blu-ray exclusive
- HBO is going Blu-ray exclusive
- The HD-DVD booth at the CES show was desolate. There were also reports that at CES Blu-ray had all of the mojo.
- Constantin Film goes Blu-ray exclusive
- The HD-DVD group fires back and slashes hardware and software prices
- Nielsen VideoScan reports Blu-ray market share for the week ending January 13 = 85% compared to year to date of 74%. It was also the first time where no HD-DVD title was in the top 10 sales for a given week.
- Rumors of Target going Blu-ray exclusive
Yeah, these are very dark times for the HD-DVD consortium and mostly for Toshiba since they are the primary backer of HD-DVD…and these are great times for the Blu-ray Disc (BD) consortium – especially Sony since they’re the primary backer of Blu-ray. However, I don’t think it’s gonna be a cake walk for BD to win the format war due to various reasons – the primary being that Universal and Paramount are still HD-DVD exclusive and the high BD player prices.
Personally, since the Warner Bros. announcement (Jan. 4) I broke down and bought a Blu-ray player (Playstation 3). I bought it about a week after the WB announcement. Needless to say, I think the writing’s on the wall for HD-DVD and it will die a slow death, which is very unfortunate because I’ve been a HD-DVD supporter from the beginning and I am NOT a Sony fan by any stretch of the imagination. I supported HD-DVD for various reasons that I won’t list because this post on Gizmodo sums it up almost perfectly.
Needless to say, I’m tired of this format war and am ready for it to end. Blu-ray has around 75% of Hollywood studios supporting it…and it hurts to say this but “go Blu.”