Sony´s next-generation DVD format ´Blu-ray´ has suffered a huge blow with both Paramount and Dreamworks withdrawing their support and committing their library exclusively to rival format ´HD-DVD´. Viacom, Paramount´s parent company, explains the move:
The exclusive HD DVD commitment will include all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment. (...)
"We decided to release "Shrek the Third" and other DreamWorks Animation titles exclusively on HD DVD because we believe it is the best format to bring high quality home entertainment to a key segment of our audience -- families," stated DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg. "We believe the combination of this year's low-priced HD DVD players and the commitment to release a significant number of hit titles in the fall makes HD DVD the best way to view movies at home." (...)
Today's announcement does not include films directed by Steven Spielberg as his films are not exclusive to either format.
Only in late July, a number of retailers appeared to switch exclusively to ´Blu-ray´. But two major studios pledging exclusive support to ´HD-DVD´ reverses Sony´s fortune.
This move represents a huge blow to the ´Blu-ray´ format, Sony in general and the PlayStation3 in particular. If you want to watch blockbuster titles like ´Transformers´, ´Shrek the Third´ or ´Blades of Glory´, a PS3 will be no good. What I recently applauded as the consoles´s only unique selling point has just become pretty much void.
But let us look at the current tally. Wikipedia counts up current ´HD-DVD´ studio support thus:
In terms of major studios in North America, HD DVD is currently exclusively backed by Universal Studios (including subsidiaries Rogue Pictures, Focus Features and Polygram Filmed Entertainment), Paramount Pictures (including Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films, DreamWorks Pictures and DreamWorks Animation), The Weinstein Company (including Dimension Films), and First Look Studios. The format is non-exclusively backed by Warner Bros. Pictures (it should be noted that a number of Warner's titles—Batman Begins, Constantine, Troy (excluding Troy: Director's Cut), V for Vendetta, The Perfect Storm, Poseidon, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Matrix Trilogy—are HD DVD exclusive at the present), Warner Music Group, New Line Cinema, HBO, Studio Canal, and Image Entertainment (including the Discovery Channel), Magnolia Pictures, Brentwood Home Video, Ryko, Koch/Goldhil Entertainment.
Compare this to Wikipedia´s entry on ´Blu-ray´ studio support:
Currently, Blu-ray Disc is exclusively supported by Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM (both owned by Sony) as well as Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate. It is non-exclusively supported by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. Several members of the Blu-ray organization's Board of Directors, such as Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and LG, pledged support to Blu-ray Disc, and later, also supported HD DVD.
Essentially, we have Universal, Paramount and Dreamworks exclusively backing ´HD-DVD´ now while Sony Pictures, MGM, Disney and 20th Century Fox have exclusively sided with ´Blu-ray´. That seems like a stalemate. But it is obvious that the momentum is certainly in favour of ´HD-DVD´.
Thanks to: Engadget, Joystiq