With Warner Bros.’ ‘shocking’ decision to exclusively back the Blu-Ray camp, it seems like the entire internet is quaking at death knell of HD-DVD. As of May of this year, only Universal and Paramount Pictures studios will be exclusively backing the HD-DVD format. Currently, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema support Blu-Ray as well as HD-DVD. Although the announcement of exclusivity is only for Warner Bros., it’s very likely that New Line Cinema will soon follow suit as it is a subsidiary of Time Warner as well.
I think many people expect that a single format will eventually win out; however, the move by Warner Bros. seems to have hit the HD-DVD group where it hurts. Just days before CES 2008, the North American HD-DVD promotion group has canceled their scheduled conferences at the electronics show, undoubtedly to avoid the negative questions swirling over the viability of HD-DVD caused by the current situation. Meanwhile, Toshiba has issued an official press release, stating their shock. The wording of the statement also seems to imply there were certain monetary contracts between Toshiba and Warner Bros. There’s been speculation that the Blu-Ray camp may have offered significant payment to Warner Bros. for choosing their format exclusively, but this has been denied by Warner Bros.
To be honest, I haven’t the least bit of interest in which eventually wins. I’m just waiting until one does so that I can buy a player and/or a PC drive without second guessing whether I made the correct choice or not. Certainly, some of these movie studios also want to end the competition, so that consumers like myself don’t hesitate because of uncertainty over the outcome of the format war.