Has The HD / Blu War Come To An End?

Sure sounds like it


Ladies & Gentlemen – in the Blu corner, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney & Lionsgate – in the Red corner, Paramount & Universal – FIGHT!

That’s been the general status over the last year, in the new “Format War” taking place between Blu-Ray & HD-DVD, which have both been struggling to find that winning blow against the other, leading to Sony incorporating a Blu-Ray player into their Playstation 3, and Microsoft backing HD-DVD with their 360 console.

This has led to a stalemate so far, for example, you can’t get “Knocked Up” on Blu-Ray, but then again, you can’t get “Die Hard 4.0″ on HD-DVD. Well, that looks like it’s all about to change, with a press release from Warner Brothers, who previously supported both formats, just a few hours ago:

“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.”………..
“A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry,” said Tsujihara. “Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience. Warner Bros. has worked very closely with the Toshiba Corporation in promoting high definition media and we have enormous respect for their efforts. We look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.”

Warners will continue to support HD-DVD until May ’08 (albeit there will be a window between standard DVD / Blu-Ray & the HD release), but this leaves us with a market split roughly 70-30, so expect this battle to be over fairly soon.