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Rental service picks Blu-ray as winner

Believes all others will soon, too.

US film rental site Netflix has decided to stop offering HD-DVD movies because it feels the industry has already picked Blu-ray as its winner, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Its existing HD-DVD catalogue will be phased out by the end of the year, and it is glad it can finally focus on delivering the high-definition message rather than argue about which format is better.

"The prolonged period of competition between the two formats has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the high-def experience versus standard definition," chirped content boss Ted Sarandos.

"We're now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def.

"Going forward, we expect that all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points of high-def DVD players will come down significantly. These factors could well lead to another decade of disc-based movie watching as the consumer's preferred means," he said.

Netflix operates like the Love Film service in the UK; posting out films to members who then watch them in their own time, send them back, then receive another.

It has more than seven million subscribers and around 90,000 movies, with 400 of them on Blu-ray.

Sony has famously championed the Blu-ray format for its PS3 console, and believed it would be a key differentiator in this generation of consoles.

Microsoft decided to offer a peripheral HD-DVD player, but also said it has not ruled out the possibility of doing something with Blu-ray in the future.

One particularly loud-mouthed observation was made by Transformers director Michael Bay, who claimed Microsoft had adopted it purely to offer some sort of competition to Sony, while secretly bolstering its digital content plans for the future.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment all endorse Blu-ray.

Meanwhile, Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment have backed HD-DVD.

GamesIndustry.biz. You would.

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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