Recently Warner Brothers Entertainment made the decision to (later this year) go Blu-Ray exclusive. For those of you at home keeping score this means that now HD-DVD only has Paramount Pictures, Universal, Focus Features, and Weinstein Co. Things aren’t looking too good for the format.
The only real thing that I can see that HD-DVD has going for it is price. The players seem to be about $100 cheaper than their Blu-Ray counterparts. Blu-Ray has significantly more studio support than HD-DVD does and currently there are only two manufacturers making standalone HD-DVD players while Blu-Ray has ten manufacturers making standalone players.
Let’s face it, Blu-Ray just has way more support than HD-DVD does and what makes a format widely adopted is support.
The one company that everyone is looking to for a reaction to this is Microsoft. Microsoft has been supporting HD-DVD for seemingly the entire time but will this make them change their tune.
I did read somewhere (can’t remember where or I would link for credit) that someone was speculating that Microsoft is supporting HD-DVD thinking that HD-DVD is clearly the worse format. This way neither HD-DVD or Blu-Ray would win the war and both of them would die. This way Microsoft could swoop in with a movie download solution which would trump both of the formats.
I’m not sure if I believe that theory but I do think that Microsoft will have to react in some way. Whether that means Microsoft deciding to switch sides and come out with a Blu-Ray add on drive for the Xbox 360 or Microsoft becoming format neutral, I do think that they will have to do something.