Warner Bros. Backs Blu-Ray

Future of HD DVD format now in question
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2008 6:59 AM CST
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. employee Satoko Kubo poses with a Blu-ray Disc and a camcorder in front of a Panasonic DMR-BW900 Blu-ray Disc recorder during a press preview in Tokyo Friday, Oct. 26,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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."