In the latest twist of a heated battle over next-generation DVD technology, Paramount Home Entertainment said it would release high-definition movies in the Blu-ray format backed by a group led by Sony.
Another article on this… Reading this, and re-reading the Variety article posted earlier, really makes me think HD-DVD is on the ropes. If Warner does jump as well, which the Variety article seems to think will happen, then so will Universal. (Kind of the opposite I thought in my earlier comment, same end result.) That would mean all studios releasing on BD, and just under half (market-share-wise) on HD-DVD. So why buy HD-DVD?
I’m starting to think the Microsoft/Intel announcement was instigated by Toshiba. Toshiba and MS have been working together on the interactive platform for HD-DVD. MS can put pressure on Intel. I’m thinking Toshiba may have tried to keep Paramount (and Warner?) from adding BD support to their plans. Hoping that getting a couple of heavyweights to toss their support behind HD-DVD would convince the skittish sheep from bolting, and maybe lure in some more to the flock. If that was the plan, it really doesn’t seem to have worked.
I’ve always said you can’t underestimate the PS3 factor, and it seems Paramount took that seriously – though I’m sure the BD+ and ROM Mark copy protection sure helped sway them. I really don’t think Sony is going to blink at this point. They have the momentum to steamroll the market with the BD consortium behind them. The HD-DVD camp has to resort to FUD about manufacturability and false claims about the features. Trying to make it sound like HD-DVD is further along than BD – when pre-standard BD systems have been on sale in Japan for 2 years, and they work. Sure, they aren’t representative of the standard, but they show the base technology is working. And claims about HD-DVD fitting in laptops better are crap – slimline BD drives have already been demonstrated and will be out for launch. As will dual-layer, and probably the hybrid BD/DVD disc which is being standardized as well.