Saturday, May 12, 2007

Universal about to go multi-format?



Universal, the only big Hollywood studio that is exclusively backing HD-DVD in the next generation DVD format war, is about to go multi-format, German technology magazine publisher Heise claims.

The publisher of the well-respected technology magazine ´c't´ has heard rumours that Universal will be publishing their movies on both HD-DVD and Blu-ray in the near future. The rumours originate from the rival Blu-ray camp.

At a press event, staff representing the Blu-ray supporter Pioneer have claimed that Universal Home Entertainment has withdrawn from the exclusivity contract with the HD-DVD camp, i.e. its biggest hardware partner Toshiba. The studio is claimed to have terminated the agreement already, while this has yet to come into effect.


Currently, 20th Century Fox, Disney and Sony are exclusively backing Blu-ray, while Warner and Paramount (including Dreamworks) are supporting both formats.

According to the article, Universal had reaffirmed its support for HD-DVD in January and announced 100 new releases for 2007. The company´s corporate page is currently offline.

It might make sense for the studio to go multi-format, Heise claims. Between January and mid-March this year, Universal had 35,6 percent of the HD-DVD market, but only 11,1 percent of the overall market (HD-DVD and Blu-ray together). The market leader is Warner, who is selling well on both formats, the magazine publisher writes.


The source of this rumour - the Blu-ray camp - is naturally biased and not all too reliable. However, it seems to make sense for Universal to go multi-format. And if they do, this move would effectively end the format war.

Further, if Blu-ray wins, Sony´s dangerous gamble with the PlayStation3 will pay off. The console, though more expensive, will have a unique selling point that its competitors cannot match.

EDIT Universal has issued an official response, courtesy of Engadget HD:

Craig Kornblau, the President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment tells us in an email that the rumors that Universal will support Blu-ray "are totally false".

Source: Heise (German)
Thanks to: MaxConsole, ปิยพล

23 comments:

jordan said...

not really buying the idea that Bluray is going to win the war at all, you have to look at things from a retail aspect as well, like the fact that WAL-MART is going to EXCLUSIVELY BACK HD-DVD, and ONLY SELL HD-DVD PLAYERS, b/c they are working out a deal to sell HD-DVD players manufactured by a Chinese company w/ a huge profit margin, 2 million players to be precise...

http://news.digitaltrends.com/talkback184.html

GAME, SET, MATCH, nice try SONY

some guy said...

I wouldn’t say the game is over yet…

Link

jordan said...

thanks, didn't see that, LOL, my bad! well, i still wouldn't call it a win for SONY yet, the standalones for the HD DVD camp are still selling better, and i think that's crucial in the sales of movies, instead of occassionally getting one for your PS3

Falafelkid said...

Hi Some Guy. Thanks for the heads up. Updated my original article.

perodetlic said...

standard DVD is still winner. either blue ray nor hd dvd will be standard for at least 3-4 years. they are just too expensive crap.

and this reminds me - i saw a funny advertisement for PS3 once, it goes something like this: "PS3 - great blue ray player! ...it also plays games!"

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See, who told you that Halo 3 is the Super,Super hi rez version of Halo in the first place?huh?

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ปิยพล said...

Universal responds to reports of going neutral :

Universal Studios Home Entertainment tells us in an email that the rumors that Universal will support Blu-ray "are totally false".

http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/05/09/universal-responds-to-reports-of-going-neutral/

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