Warner Bros. going Blu-ray exclusive

HD DVD suffers serious setback as biggest maker of DVDs abandons the Microsoft- and Toshiba-backed format in favor of the PS3's chosen media.

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Just two days before Bill Gates' Consumer Electronics Show keynote, Microsoft's chosen next-generation video format suffered a major setback. Late Friday, movie and television studio Warner Bros. announced that it is discontinuing its support of the HD DVD format, and will release its high-definition home-video offerings solely on Blu-ray Disc beginning this coming May. Currently, the company, which controls nearly 18 to 20 percent of the US home-video market, supports 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," said Barry Meyer, Warner Bros.' chairman and CEO, in a statement. "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. joins a host of other movie studios--including the Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate--who are backing the Blu-ray format. More importantly for gamers, Blu-ray was created by Sony, which has included an internal Blu-ray Disc drive as part of all four PlayStation 3 models released since November 2006. Besides movie studios Universal and Paramount, HD DVD is backed by Microsoft, which released an external HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 in November 2006. It recently denied rumors that it is working on a version of the Xbox 360 that would have an internal HD DVD drive.

Toshiba, which led development of HD DVD at the same time it was partnering with Sony to create the PS3's cell processor, was openly shocked by today's events. "Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.' decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD," the company said in a terse statement. "We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007."

Discussion

1438 comments
caocca
caocca

Hey that guy billyunxix is really agressive.... But he has to understand that microsoft is doing pretty good because they entered the console market nearly a decade ago and they're getting the hang of it. What I'm trying to say is that nintendo 's been in bussines for much more time than microsoft. Plus the PS3 is actually a monster and is going to be a monster for a lot of time since is still a complicated system Duh!!!! Go xbox 360. PLus right now to releasing games for both consoles gives more profit and since the xbox 360 looks better the xbox is going to stay with us.... And they don't charge that much.... yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

SUPER-MAN_2005
SUPER-MAN_2005

Honestly I like ps3, but 360 has more games right now. That billyjunxix dude is really hard for ps3..u know that guys a virgin

insanezain
insanezain

k billyjunxix im a huge playstation fan too and dont like the 360 but honestly, relax haha xbox isnt a bad next gen at all its just not gonna be the best by the end. I agree that ps3 is the best CONSOLE out there and can easily and WILL become the best in time but honestly calm down haha

billyjunxix
billyjunxix

PS3 is the best console ever. Say good-bye to the xbox 360 the most problematic console ever. To the xbox 360 fanboy..im just asking did you have the RED RING OF DEATH now?..dont worry you will soon..every 360 does. Its just a matter of when! Why are all the microsoft fanboys gets angry about this?..ill tell you why becuse its TRUE that xbox 360 is losing the next-gen war and all the microsoft fanboys knows it too that their console is losing and they cannot accept it..stop denying it. This is the truth..BELIEVE IT! And the only thing that bothers me is why the xbox 360 even got the chance to be on the next-gen war while on the other hand if you look at the xbox 360 its not even a next-gen material because how can you say that a console that broke constantly a next-gen material. xbox 360 is not a next-gen..its a piece of crap. PS3 and Wii are the real-next-gen system because if you look at their past console to the present PS3 and Wii..they really evole, they got more HIGH-TECH, and most specially their DURABILITY got alot better. You can say that broke constantly a next-gen because that would be a downfall for humanity..because were supposed to be upgrading our technology, to have the technology alot more DURABLE, and EVOLVE for the BEST..and thats what the PS3 does. The PS3 EVOLVES, its more DURABLE, and its the most HIGH-TECH console today.

billyjunxix
billyjunxix

PS3 is the best console ever. Say good-bye to the xbox 360 the most problematic console ever. To the xbox 360 fanboy..im just asking did you have the RED RING OF DEATH now?..dont worry you will soon..every 360 does. Its just a matter of when!

URError
URError

"sony ftw again. why do other corporations even bother?" Cuz Sony makes worthless systems and worthless games Nintendo FTW

debo55
debo55

Definitely not buying all my movies in Blu ray....until the player price goes down about 200$

loika5
loika5

@ pinthepimp: The prices are definitely not going to go up if Blu-Ray wins. That's an absurd statement. Think about what you wrote in your own post. "no one remembers when DVD launched that you'd pay £18, minimum for a DVD" Obviously the price of DVDs have gone down (and you realize that), or you wouldn't be saying that. Once their price went down, mass adoption occurred. Blu-Ray will be the new DVD, and in time when their prices comes down (not up) mass adoption will occur once again. To think the price of this type of technology (or most other types) will go up over time is ridiculous.

rocoswav
rocoswav

sony ftw again. why do other corporations even bother?

pinthepimp
pinthepimp

Anyone who actually wants a specific format to win is stupid. I'm guessing no-one remembers when DVD launched that you'd pay £18, minimum for a DVD ? Well, that's what HD-DVD/Blu-Ray are at now. What do you think will happen if one or the other wins ? (More likely to be Sony at this point) They'll put prices up. As it stands now, you; the consumer has choice. You can pay more for Blu-Ray, or pay less and get HD-DVD. Which aside from their capacities are the same. (Blu-Ray's online feature doesn't work, and won't for some time.) I think that's quite a simple choice, don't you ? I've got both - PS3/X360 HD-DVD Drive + a Dual Player for my MediaCentre, as I don't believe either are great at playing movies. As for the thing about M$ sowing confusion so as to get their live downloads up and running, I think this is going to hurt them as much as it is the Hi-Def war. iTunes has far more clout in the download industry and will continue to do so as long as M$ are more concerned ensuring their content is copyrighted (and possibly unreadable?) same as Sony. Difference ? Sony make movies. Apple sell Movies/TV/Music. Who has actually bought a digital download that wasn't from Apple ? I like having a physical disc in front of me instead of a download on a screen, but that's just me. No-one's forcing you to choose a side, or even get involved with HD. You've got five options - Digital Downloads, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, Have them all (Dual HD Player for PC - £135.) or not bother and stay in the stone age with DVD/VHS. I appreciate quality and that's what I'm paying for.

medhopeful
medhopeful

chaoscontrol489: You say that as though it were even a possibility for Microsoft to have a BD add-on. They would have to get licensing rights from Sony, which, I'm willing to bet, would be next to impossibly for Microsoft to do at the moment. The only that is going to happen is if/when PS3 has a clear advantage in the console war or if Microsoft pays over a HUGE amount of money for the licensing rights. In fact, for that to happen both of those two things will probably have to occur.

chaoscontrol489
chaoscontrol489

Totally sucks...anyone want to buy a HD DVD player and a handful of movies. It feels like Dreamcast all over again....but don't get me wrong either. I still feel the 360 is a better system and I'm keeping that...just wish Microsoft had gone with a Blue-ray add-on instead of a HD-DVD add-on. argh!!

paul_the_punk
paul_the_punk

@JustForFun44 "How do you think Sony fans felt when Paramount and Dreamcast went HD DVD?" Paramount and Dreamcast? i think you need to fix that one buddy

u8muhrice
u8muhrice

Ugotowndeo: What do you mean Microsoft doesnt care about HD-DVD... if they didnt care about it.. then why invest in it? 100 million dollars for Universal.. yeah im sure Microsoft really loved just throwing their money in the toilet right there... As you said.. Microsoft cares about stoping piracy... so does every major media/game company. No one profits from piracy

gin_rummy89
gin_rummy89

Wow I am hoping either HDDVD or Blueray will die off soon so I know witch one to buy. I am not going to be stuck with a dead media player again! when I was growing up my Famliy had BETAMAX *shudders*

Krazy-K
Krazy-K

Slowly, but surely it seems that everybody is choosing Blu-Ray. Thank God, I got a PS3!!!

Ugotownedo
Ugotownedo

Just clearing something up, for all of the people who believe that Microsoft really cares about HD-DVD. Microsoft knew that Blu-ray would likely win, just not that soon. Remember when Universal announced that it was going with HD-DVD exclusively? Well, Microsoft paid them $100 million to do that, and it's just a temporary deal. Microsoft did this to create confusion in the market for a while, so most people would hold off on buying either format (working pretty well so far!). They did this so they'll have enough time to establish their own movie rental service. I don't know if this rental service is an expansion of Xbox Live Video Marketplace, or a whole new thing. But I doubt it's a whole new thing, because they already have Live in place. Remember, Microsoft's plan is to connect all of their product's together using Live, which started off on the Xbox. Now, they're bringing Live to everything else (did you notice that the Hotmail email service is now called Windows Live Hotmail?). And the new Windows games support Live as well, and so does Zune. However, I think that a lot of people will prefer to have a solid copy of a movie, and for that, Blu-ray is the best. More storage space means extra content and also futureproofs it. And think about it: Most people who are rich enough to have a collection of movies are probably rich enough to pay a few dollars extra for Blu-ray. The same goes for everyone, as most people think that the more expensive thing is better. Besides, Blu-ray is much better for data storage for PC's; data storage is overlooked by many people. Especially considering how fast hardware and software is developing. Heck, this time next year, Octo core will become the standard for high-end PC gamers. Anyway, just letting you know, Microsoft doesn't really care about physical storage in general, they want to digital distribution to be the future (less piracy, etc.)

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

"Phazevariance So here's the question, do i return the HDDVD player I just got last week? Will it become obsolete?" Good question. For arguments sake lets just assume this really is the end for HD DVD. I am keeping mine and I will tell you why. It is the most awesome HD player I could buy and it only cost me $99. The $300 (or more) I saved will buy a lot of HD DVD movies. There are nearly 400 HD DVD movies available right now. Netflix has over 300 HD DVD movies to rent. Your HD DVD player and movies will continue to work for years. It is a great upscaling DVD player too. If it really is dead then you can take advantage of a lot of killer deals as people and retailers remove the HD DVD inventory. It may look grim right now, but there have been many changes in the last two years so you don't know for sure if this is the end. How do you think Sony fans felt when Paramount and Dreamcast went HD DVD?

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

"Bloodhawk_DX These formats wont be widely used for years... why? Standard DVD's can be upscaled and are on average 5-10 dollars cheaper." Who cares if it is widely used? If you have HDTV you want HD content. The discs are more expensive now because all of the cost reductions are already built into DVD, and only beginning in HD discs. Also if you have an HDTV you need the widescreen (many times special edition) which costs very close to what HD discs cost and the quality is not the same.

jnvwv
jnvwv

Phazevariance whote: So here's the question, do i return the HDDVD player I just got last week? Will it become obsolete? I guess that depends on if you feel the content available warrants you keeping it. Will it become obsolete? Absolutely, most technology does. The burning question is, how soon will it become obsolete.

jahd5000
jahd5000

Oh this is cool finally war ended.Blu-ray was obviously going to win, and it will now be more popular and cheaper. Yay!

alaskancrab
alaskancrab

In all honesty I doubt microsoft even cares about HDDVD . They got their VC-1 standard on both systems so at the end of the day a lot of those studios that recently switched to blu-ray might just choose to use VC-1 on blu-ray instead of AVC. I'm sure Universal will!!! ;) At any rate GTA 4 will be coming out and rumour has it that it far exceeds DVD9 capacity. Speculation is your either going to be switching disc's in the middle of the game or your going to have to do a complete install on the harddrive. or better yet you can go out an buy one of those obsolete drives. Other rumours include a 10 layered disc for Blu-Ray... TDK already has the 4 layered 100 gig writables on the market ;) Anyways if you bought HDDVD thinking that the movie studios would just give up and give Microsoft another market to control then I can understand why so many of you are defensive ;)

MrSander14
MrSander14

Hooray for PS3:D quite happy now :D

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

So here's the question, do i return the HDDVD player I just got last week? Will it become obsolete?

Proust
Proust

So many HD naysayers who will be doing a 180 when they can afford a HD TV. reminds of the VHS, DVD thing all over again.

kinetic100
kinetic100

Seeing as MS are pushing more and more for downloadable HD content i think they just kicked HD DVD in the face to be honest. Why would xbox users buy a disc if they can download the film. Therefore Warner can reach 2 markets by going with blu ray, Xbox by download and PS3 by Blu Ray. Had they gone with HD DVD then they would be ruling out a very big section of the market and they must realise that it is alot easier to change an add on than a built in drive. I feel this is also shown by Sonys move to let MGM release films on XBL. Therefore using the market but not supporting the format. With the news that New Line (Owned by Warner) is going Blu Ray also, things do look bleak for HD DVD but as most here just have and addon drive and will no doubt be downloading off XBL then this hardly is the end of the world for them. In addition, a report in the financial times today says that paramount may also be switching. They state that the terms of there contact with HD DVD allowed a get out clause should Warner deside to addopt Blu ray. However i have not seen any confirmation of this anywhere.

bam226
bam226

wow, 1410 comments. alot of people upset about hddvd gettin bi#*hed by bluray. oh well glad i didnt buy dat add on........muhhahahahahahah

Azhar85
Azhar85

bla..bla...bla..blu ray maybe wins but not ps3...

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

I'm so stoked the war is over! Long live HD movies on physical disc with lightly sprinkled DRM. IXSNAY on the DRM saturated downloads and streaming.

S_Pac_316
S_Pac_316

That's just so retarded how they like to force Blu-ray down our throats. Not everyone has an HDTV nor can they afford one at the moment. I'm so sick of this meaningless format war. I know they want to sell products, but this is just to much. I just hope they'll still make standard DVDs...

jasonpa
jasonpa

First off how much is Sony paying Warner Brothers to sign this exclusive deal, cause lets not forget they have a contract with Toshiba through May. If you look at it from a business standpoint WB has to be getting some kind of kickback from Sony, WB is alienating their market, their target consumer, thus shrinking sales and profits, this has nothing to do with a call for a standard format. Writers are on strike, movies are being delayed, it's costing studios so much money, how can they recoup those losses, by moves like this. They have to make money and the only way would be to sell exclusive rights to their movies on Blu Ray to Sony. The confusion in consumers eyes with the two formats is a cop out. Consumer know there is no difference between blu ray and HD-DVD other the a few gigs of space and a different player you stick the dvd in. That's it, neither formats picture is superior then the other. There isn't. I know because I am extremely knowledgable in this field and there is no difference. I am not biased because I own Toshiba's A-35, their best HD-DVD Player, it's because I know 1080p is 1080p, it's all the same. The only difference can be found is the processor speed inside the player or in your tv that will make a difference. That difference would be motion blur, which I saw in Fry's watching Pirates on BluRay on a Samsung 1080p LCD tv with a 120hz processor. Blu Ray is better huh, haven't seen any motion blur with my HDDVD. Fact is two formats can survive, look at how many studios release their movies on both, cause they know that's how you make the money, just like game developers have gone away from exclusive deals, you just can't make money at it, so SOny has to be paying those studios money for those rights, otherwise WB would lose money going just with Blu Ray. By the way the only reason why Blu Ray sells more DVDs is because of the PS3, that's it. HDDVD sells more players and as soon as microsoft includes HDDVD in the 360s which will happen soon their sales will crush Blu Ray 2 to 1, cause HDDVD players are at 150 dollars cheaper. No one format will win, you watch both will survive when the big studios realize that consumers don't care what color the package of the DVD is or it's name, all that matters is this, 1080p and 7.1 sound, that's it. ANyone who wants to rebute my comment, you can only do so if you can tell me what the difference is between 1080i or 1080p.

Bloodhawk_DX
Bloodhawk_DX

Who gives a damn!? If you got a PS3 for movie capabilities you wasted your money. If you bought an HD-DVD add-on for the 360 you wasted your money. These formats wont be widely used for years... why? Standard DVD's can be upscaled and are on average 5-10 dollars cheaper.

Sergsky
Sergsky

I am glad for Sony. I think it is best for consumers to have only one format, and assuming HDDVD is already dead, I am sorry for its supporters. I am glad I never bought an HDDVD player though, instead I bought a PS3 for my hi-def movie needs (and Metal Gear) .

Pie_FOREVER
Pie_FOREVER

I can't believe the sheer diehard "battle to the death" attitude of some people. It's almost disturbing how delusional some of the people that are making such ignorant and downright slanderous comments about Blu-Ray and Sony to reassure themselves it's inferior. Get a life, seriously. And to Cowan, who said (and I quote) lol... so long as Blu-Ray looks like crap - I'll be sticking to HD-DVD and DVD. no one could pay me to stick a Blu-Ass player in my house. Congratulations. You are 2 things. Blind, and an arrogant fool who has been suckered and burned into something they're now so upset about they would rather deny something because of some perverted inferiority complex you have

Cowman
Cowman

lol... so long as Blu-Ray looks like crap - I'll be sticking to HD-DVD and DVD. no one could pay me to stick a Blu-Ass player in my house.

leimeisei
leimeisei

Some of you HDDVD fanboys are incredible. "Wow sony's desperate, i wonder how much they paid..." Thats a pretty ignorant thing for you guys to say. Toshiba paid Paramount the big bucks to not release their movies on Bluray. I actually think HDDVD supporters are the desperate ones, not Bluray.

Krammin
Krammin

You to bud, until next posts about the format war :)

Krammin
Krammin

@Justforfun44 - No Dramas man. The whole space thing is the selling point of BD but as you say HDDVD could def. keep up with the size.

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

Yes the codecs do determine quality. BD codecs = HD DVD codecs (On today's best discs both formats) "but the advantage with Blu-Ray it doesn't have to compress the codecs as much " That is what I disagree with you about. It would be true assuming that HD DVD was so filled up that it didn't have enough space, but that isn't true. I watch King Kong at over 3 hours with fantastic sound which all fits on a single HD DVD. The only advantage I have read about for the extra space is having multiple foreign languages on BD instead of just English, French, and German on HD DVD. Beyond that you might get some extra content in HD, but you will never see a higher quality movie on BD. I apologize for jumping on you because the whole space makes better quality just doesn't fly with me, and I thought that was your main point.

Krammin
Krammin

My point was to vanhalendlrband who said that HDDVD had better quality due to the discs, I was explaining it was the CODECS that determine quality... If you read the posts properly I wouldn't have to explain myself.

ReU_GanJa
ReU_GanJa

Sounds like BluRays winning this war :p

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

Krammin I did my research. I know all about the codecs for BD and HD DVD. So what is your point? HD DVD always used the most advanced features as part of the "standard". BD has no standard so it changes all the time. Each generation of BD gets a little better and old players don't get the capability to do BD future capabilities. I said you don't know what your talking about because you say the extra BD space gives BD better quality which is the same lie every Sony fan states over and over again. Repeat, repeat, repeat maybe someday 3-5 years from now BD will be as good as HD DVD is today.

Krammin
Krammin

@Justforfun44 - At the beginning of the BD process they used MPEG2 compression rather than the more advanced MPEG4 and WMV based codecs, so you do your research!!! The point is I did my research and thus investing in a system that was part of the future.

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

"derubermensch1 All I have to say is that I have both, but if you want to use Netflix go with Blu-Ray; HD-DVD players hate scratched HD-DVDs" I have HD DVD and use Netflix. I have seen HD DVD discs from Netflix that look like they are scratched. However, my HD-A2 player has played every disc without error.

chickmagnet_1
chickmagnet_1

Eh, I could care less. I don't have a HD tv yet, and don't have the time that I once had to commit to playing videogames. Yes, full time jobs can suck sometimes. Do I hate not having time to play games? Yeah. But there are more important things to do, such as, searching for a BETTER job. As for now, regular DVD's are just fine with me. I think its sad those people who are like "Now I HAVE TO go out and buy a PS3. I'm being forced." Oh please.

sgsrules
sgsrules

Seriously, who cares? I thought it was pretty retarded for there to be any sort of new disk based media to begin with. Look at what happened to cd's, who the hell still buys cds? I hate hard media, I have so many movies and music that having to track down anything is a pain. I've already gotten rid of all of my cd's and ripped them to mp3's most of My movie collection sits on my hard drive. Granted not everyone has a couple of terrabytes available for storage, but the future isn't downloadable movies, the future is streaming content. Internet connections aren't fast enough to support HD video yet but they soon will be. Sites like vondo.com have the right idea, charge a monthy service to see as many movies as you want. Or you could have a pay per view setup, buy a movie and have the option to store it locally or stream it whenever you want. Hell you might have to wait a couple of minutes to have the movie buffer but it sure beats having to drive to the store or wait for it to arrive in the mail. And for those of you out there saying "Well Stephen not everyone has a high speed internet connection" Well hell... those people probably don't have a HD TV either so again, who cares?

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

"Outlawlaw someone needs to come up with a universal format, I'm not wasting money on anything until a clear decision is apparent." Someone did. Warner tried to sell the studios on "Total HD". BD on one side, and HD DVD on the other. The studios didn't adopt Total HD so Warner shelved the idea.

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

"flying_tiger It seems like i'm the last person on earth who still enjoys movies on a good ol' dvd player." Don't feel bad tiger you are part of the vast majority that still have DVD and SDTV. That is why the sales numbers for HD DVD and BD are not stronger. Most people don't know what they are missing, but they will see more. In 2009 TV is all digital in the USA. People will need converter boxes for old TV's if they receive over the air broadcast. Anyone buying a new TV will buy HDTV in the future. You will too someday.