Warner Bros. Backs Blu-Ray

In my HD vs. Blu-Ray post a few days ago I suggested that a winner in the battle could be decided if Warner Bros. picked a side. To my surprise (and everyone else), on the eve of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Warner Bros. announced it’s backing Blu-Ray. Wow. With the Warner Bros. move, the talk is that Blu-Ray has won. Call me Nostradamus 🙂

Toshiba (main backer of HD) said they’re ‘quite surpised’ by the decision and are understandably pissed and re-grouping. In a PC World report, they Toshiba states:

“We will assess the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluate potential next steps. We remain firm in our belief that HD DVD is the format best suited to the wants and needs of the consumer.”

PC World also reports that “the HD DVD Promotion Group’s CES plans went into disarray. Within hours of the announcement, the group cancelled its scheduled Sunday-evening news conference and subsequent media interviews at CES.”

Seems like the decision by Sony to include a Blu-Ray player in the PS3 was a brilliant move. The biggest problem for studios was mass adoption of players. Every PS3 purchase was in effect a Blu-Ray purchase and so Sony created a Blu-Ray market larger than HD, providing a more compelling consumer market for the studios.

Toshiba says that HD has been declared dead before and that they’re re-grouping, but with five of the seven Hollywood studios backing Blu-Ray (only Universal and Paramount are HD backers), it’s safe to say HD is on life support and the plug might be pulled sooner rather than later.

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