Warner Home Video may be re-evaluating their dual-format support of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. At a Blu-Ray press event in Los Angeles that we attended over the past few days, Warner Vice President Dan Silverberg told reporters that their strategy may be changing. “When both formats launched and hardware prices were high, we made a decision to support both formats and let the consumer decide. But now that hardware pricing is affordable for both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, it appears consumers no longer want to decide. So the notion of staying in two formats for the duration is something we are re-evaluating now that we are in the fourth quarter.”
As news of his comment hit the web, message boards exploded with equal parts relief and fury. Paramount Pictures recently went HD-DVD exclusive, leaving Warner Brothers as the only dual format major studio. While Silverberg’s comment is hardly a declarative announcement, it’s the sort of hint dropped to soften the blow of a looming official decision.
It seems lines are quickly being drawn on an increasingly frequent basis and 2008 may finally determine a winner to this drawn out conflict that has confused consumers and alienated fans. Needless to say, studio eyes will be locked on the numbers from this Holiday season. We’ll post more as it develops.