It is official! We just got word that Warner Home Video will begin to support the Blu-Ray Disc format exclusively starting around May. The studio had so far supported both, the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD format, but based on its own market evaluation by comparing sales on both formats, Warner Home Video has come to the decision to throw its weight behind only one format, and that format will be Blu-Ray.
Warner will continue releasing HD-DVD versions of those titles that are currently in the production pipeline but as of May 2008, re3leases will be Blu exclusively. Until then, also expect their HD-DVD versions to trail the DVD and Blu-Ray versions by a week or two.
As pointed out in Video Business Magazine, Warner’s CEO Barry Meyer says the movie will hopefully help to put an end to the format war and make it easier for consumers to make a choice.
With Warner Home Video dropping out of the HD-DVD camp, only Universal Home Video and Paramount Home Video remain as exclusive supporters of the HD-DVD format. With sales slagging and virtually no hardware support other than Toshiba’s line of players, this move is a major blow for the HD-DVD camp that will further weaken it’s already crumbling stance.
We believe this is cause for celebration as it crystallizes out more and more that the better of the two formats is finally getting the upper hand. And with strong hardware support, including the price-reduced Playstation 3, as well as the backing of major Hollywood studios, such as Sony Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, MGM Home Entertainment, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Lionsgate and now Warner Home Video, I think the writing is on the wall. The winner in this race is Blu-Ray and it has become only a matter of time for the HD-DVD camp to fold under the public and their own stockholder’s pressure.