Over the past couple of months now, rumors have circulated that Warner Bros. Entertainment would let-go of HD-DVD publishings and stick with Blu-ray exclusively. The rumors were quickly passed off and few had thought they were the least bit credible. But they persisted.
And now, today, Warner Bros. has officially announced that they have chosen Blu-ray Disc as their exclusive high-definition disc of choice. Warner Bros. will publish their scheduled line-up of HD-DVD movies up until May 2008. So as of May 2008, a mere five months, Warner Bros. will not publish HD-DVD content any further.
“Warner Bros.’ move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want,” said Meyer. “The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers.”
This is yet another crippling blow to the medium that has been struggling this entire year, largely thanks to increased sales of the PlayStation 3, decreased cost of Blu-ray players, Blockbuster video renting Blu-ray discs exclusively, and now this. HD-DVD is now left with only NBC Universal and Paramount Studios as their big-guns.
The scope of this exclusivity for Sony's Blu-ray format is vast, as Warner Bros. accounts for 18-20% of all DVD sales in the United States, which makes them the biggest seller, and arguably the most important studio to secure. Hopefully HD-DVD just bows out already, and we can get on with a smooth HD transition to Blu-ray.