Warner Bros. Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
In a huge blow to the HD DVD camp in the ongoing high definition DVD battle, Warner Bros. today announced that it will move to publishing its films exclusively on Blu-ray (in addition to standard DVD). Warner Bros. had been previously publishing its movies on both Blu-ray and HD DVD.
“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 Warner Bros. CEO Barry 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.”
“Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices,” said Jeff Bewkes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner Inc., the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Today’s decision by Warner Bros. to distribute in a single format comes at the right time and is the best decision both for consumers and Time Warner.”
“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 Warner Bros. president Kevin 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.”
Complete exclusivity will begin following the end of May 2008; until then, Blu-ray and standard DVD formats will be released side-by-side, with an HD DVD release trailing afterwards.
If you’re not particular privy as to which studios are responsible for which movies, Warner Bros. was behind 300, the Ocean’s 11 series, The Matrix trilogy, and the Harry Potter series, to name a few. The complete loss of Harry Potter is going to really hurt Toshiba’s chances, and one has to really wonder if the format war hasn’t already reached a point of “whens” rather than “ifs.”
Personally, I own both an HD DVD player and Blu-ray player (thanks to the 360 add-on and my PS3, respectively) and there are still exclusives to HD DVD I want – so I’m glad I own both. Going forward, however, it really seems like choosing only an HD DVD player would be a mistake for the average movie enthusiast.
via High-Def Digest