Warner Bros. sides with Blu-ray

Exclusive support in future.

Warner Bros. has announced that it will be releasing movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format this year, phasing out HD-DVD production by May, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

The HD-DVD Promotion Group has subsequently cancelled its pre-Consumer Electronic Show press conference in Las Vegas in order to re-evalute its options in light of the Warner Bros.announcement.

"The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," Warner chairman and CEO Barry Meyer had said to mark the WB statement.

"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."

As previously reported, the Blu-ray format is outselling HD DVD in Europe, accounting for 73 per cent of all HD movies sold. In the US, Blu-ray disc movies had outsold HD-DVD by almost two-to-one during the first nine months of 2007.

Last August, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation announced that they would exclusively support the HD-DVD format worldwide.

Director Michael Bay caused a stir when he responded to the Paramount announcement by threatening not to deliver a sequel to his Transformers movie. Although he later retracted this threat, he went on to say that he thought Microsoft was promoting "confusion in the market until they perfect the digital download".

"Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognising this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience," said Warner Bros. Entertainment president Kevin Tsujihara.

"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."

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