Warner Bros. will release new high-def films exclusively in Blu-ray format, the Wall Street Journal reports. The decision marks a major setback for the embattled rival HD DVD format—now adopted by only two studios, Universal and Paramount—and could be a tipping point in the ongoing format war that has discouraged consumers from buying high-def discs. Sony, Disney, and Fox are also committed to Blu-ray.
There are reports that Warner Bros. will receive marketing support from Blu-ray's backers in exchange for the exclusivity deal, but the studio claims the decision wasn't a "bidding contest." More HD DVD players have been sold in the US so far, but one analyst at Pali Research notes, "We expect HD DVD to die a quick death."