I know I keep beating on this drum but yet another development in the Blu-ray format war (though most consider this thing over). Variety magazine is reporting the two remaining studios backing HD DVD could switch sides soon, ending the format war instantly.
Universal and Paramount both have escape clauses in their contracts with HD DVD, enabling them both to jump ship should the sink begin to sink. And the HD DVD ship is taking on water by the bucket, if not tub-full. As things stand right now, both studios have HD DVD promotions which may stretch beyond the first quarter, but beyond that, the situation remains fluid.
With Warners’ defection put them lock-step with Sony, Disney, Fox, and Lionsgate, all ardent Blu-ray supporters. Warner sister companies New Line and HBO are also shifting allegiance to Blu-ray. And finally, last summer, Blockbuster also threw its weight behind Blu-ray, eliminating most every HD DVD in their stores.
Big box retailers will be watching the next few weeks closely in an effort to maximize space for products which don’t represent a dying (or dead) technology. However, as you’ve read, in my humble, researched, considered opinion, this is over. Too bad for Microsoft because they’d better figure out a way to add a Blu-ray player to the XBox 360, otherwise Playstation 3 sales may increase due to its native support of Blu-ray.