The Warner announcement seems to have started the snowball rolling down the mountain, and it is picking up more studios as it goes.
New Line has not only announced that they’re going Blu-ray exclusive, but it is effective immediately. All of their announced future HD DVD releases have been canceled. And their sole existing HD DVD release, Pan’s Labyrinth, will cease manufacturing and once existing stocks are depleted it will no longer be available. Via High-Def Digest.
Digital Playground, an adult film studio which only recently went neutral from being HD DVD exclusive has decided to fully back Blu-ray along with HD DVD on all of their high-def releasesâ€œuntil there is a clear-cut winner” according to a statement made before Warner’s announcement. One has to wonder if, in light of the announcement, they might consider Blu-ray a ‘clear-cut winner’ at this point. CE Pro via EngadgetHD.
And the Times Online out of the UK is reporting that as many as 20 of the studios that are part of the HD DVD Promotion group are looking to have their names removed from the roll.
Pony Canyon, a major Japanese music, animation and film studio and part of the giant Fuji Television media empire, said that although it was currently part of the HD-DVD Promotion Group, the decisions of US studios meant it would â€œchoose Blu-Ray in the endâ€.
Several other Japanese firms â€“ including content producers and electronics component makers â€“ said that their support of HD DVD was â€œunder reviewâ€ and that they knew of many others in the same position. Others, who admitted that they had previously been waiting for â€œclear market momentumâ€, said that it had now probably arrived.
I think we’ll be seeing more HD DVD studios going neutral, as well as out-right defections by both HD DVD and neutral studios to the Blu camp now, especially if Paramount returns to being neutral – definitely if they go fully Blu. At this point any party who really wants to end the war should throw their weight behind Blu-ray. If studios, retailers, rental chains, etc, shunned HD DVD it would be hastened to its end. Times Online via AnimeOnDVD.
While this is happening, Microsoft seems to be hedging their bets with respect to the Xbox 360. They seem to be softening a bit toward the idea of the Xbox 360 supporting Blu-ray via an add-on drive:
“It should be consumer choice; and if that’s the way they vote, that’s something we’ll have to consider,” Albert Penello, group marketing manager for Xbox hardware, said when asked whether Microsoft would support a Blu-ray DVD accessory in the event that HD DVD failed.
I think they’re setting the stage to hedge their bets in case HD DVD does fail, as is looking likely. They can soften their stance, and then they won’t look as bad if they start supporting Blu-ray. From CNET News.com.