Warner backs exclusively Blu-ray, puts another nail in the HD DVD Coffin
Originally releasing their catalog in both formats to meet consumer demands for choice, Warner Brothers announced today that all future HD releases in DVD will be exclusively in the Blu-ray format. The movie is a stunning blow in the protracted format wars which has stalled market saturation of the high definition format and kept prices higher as a result.
But in recent months, executives at Time Warner Home Video have seen a dramatic shift in consumer interest towards the Blu-ray format, prompting the Warner executives to decide the time has come to settle on one format before the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD is missed thanks to format confusion. The move means that by May of this year, when Warner ceases HD DVD title production, over seventy percent of movies titles will be exclusively in the Blu-ray format.
The move will also send repercussions into the gaming industry as well . Gaming platforms like the Xbox 360, which has supported HD DVD, will have to make decisions as to whether to continue to support a dwindling HD DVD content market and potentially lose customers to the Sony Playstation 3 platform (which has experienced a renaissance since it’s recent price drop) or offer a Blu-ray option which could alienate their current customer base who paid for an HD DVD option.
One thing is clear, in 2008 the format wars may finally be at an end. And with just over 400 days left in the analog window, the timing couldn’t be riper.