HD-DVD Inches Closer to Victory

By Butterboom Writers  /  August 22, 2007

The HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray battle gets more ammunition.


Paramount and Dreamworks just threw a big monkey-wrench into the ongoing battle of Who-will-be-the-next-home-video-format Wars as they have decided to go EXCLUSIVE with HD-DVD even though Blu-Ray is outselling HD-DVD 2 to 1:

The studios will exclusively support the HD DVD format starting with next week’s release of Blades of Glory. Later this year, DreamWorks’ summer hits Transformers and Shrek the Third will also be released only on HD DVD (and of course standard DVD). Earlier this year, Flags of our Fathers and Dreamgirls were released on both Blu-ray and HD DVD, but older Shrek films are not out on either format.

The availability of lower-cost HD DVD players led to the studios pulling their support from Blu-ray. Toshiba currently has players in stores for less than US$300.

The high price of players — previously starting at about US$500 — has kept consumers from buying into either format, says DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “That’s why I have been very reticent to have us move into it.”

That’s a pretty definitive side to be choosing, especially with the losing side. While Sony hasn’t had a great record in deciding the new medium back to the days they introduced the Betamax format, this time they did give us the Playstation 3 that doubles as a Blu-Ray player and many “experts” believe Blu-Ray to be the better of the two. So we shall see if picture quality or price will be the deciding factor on who wins this Christmas.

UPDATE: This news has gotten at least one director riled up. Transformers director Michael Bay has already stated he will not direct Transformers 2 because of this decision that would limit the amount of people that would watch his movies. But alas, he must have been drunk when he said that, because less than a day later he took it back and said he in fact he “thinks he will be back for Transformers 2” – and the entire internet and newspaper community has picked up this story and has in fact fueled new interest for the HD-DVD format and bringing more attention to it. Well played Paramount, well played.


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