Following in the footsteps of Constantin Film AG, Germany’s Senator Entertainment AG has also decided to drop HD DVD support and release Blu-ray exclusively. They plan to release previously announced titles on HD DVD, but after March 1, 2008 all releases will be Blu-ray exclusively. As more international studios go Blu, this also cuts into HD DVD’s claimed advantage of being region free and thereby supporting grey market imports. If there is nothing to import, it doesn’t matter. Via EngadgetHD.
In further bad news for HD DVD the word out of the AVN show is that adult film studio Digital Playground, which had earlier announced a shift from HD DVD to a neutral stance, has decided to drop HD DVD completely and release their titles solely on Blu-ray due to superior sales of their BD releases tied with the Warner announcement and perceived shift in the market.
In fact, it seems that the adult video market is turning Blu in general. PC Magazine is reporting that Hustler Video Group is “leaning Blu-ray” after the Warner announcement. They plan to release 15-25 HD videos in 2008, ‘most of which will probably be Blu-ray’. Vivid Entertainment is maintaining a neutral stance, releasing both formats, for now. Wicked Pictures, which has released HD DVD until now, is now “aggressively” looking at Blu-ray options and expects to have a Blu-ray producer in the new few weeks, and have their first BD title out in the next few months. Silver Sinema said: “With the Warner Brothers decision, the market will direct the outcome.” While the adult market is unlikely to have the sway in this format war that it did in the VHS vs. Betamax war, it is a sign of the trend in the market. Via EngadgetHD.
And last, but not least, Home Media Magazine is reporting that for the week ending January 13th, the first full week after Warner’s announcement, Blu-ray took 85% of the high-def media sales, with HD DVD garnering the remaining 15%. That’s a major shift from the normal 65/35 balance that they’d been hovering around for a while. It remains to be seen if that shift is permanent or just a post-announcement spike.