Warner Bros. to go Exclusive with Blu-Ray in 2008

Warner Bros. may have just dealt the death blow to the HD-DVD format when they announced last week that they would be going exclusively with Blu-Ray for their HD disks in 2008. In the past, Warner, whose titles represent a whopping 18-20% of all DVD sales in the U.S., put out movies on both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. Well that’s all over with, and now it’s Blu-Ray or bust for the WB.

Here’s what Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer said in a statement (via):

“The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers.”

Warner joins 20th Century Fox, Disney, and Lionsgate as some of the big name studios favoring Sony’s Blu-ray format over Toshiba’s HD-DVD. But don’t fret just yet, HD-DVD lovers. Warner will still be releasing titles in HD-DVD up to May, 2008, but after that, it’s all Blu-ray.

Here is HD-DVD’s response to the WB decision (via):

“Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.

We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.”

Warner Bros. has also announced that its sister-studio New Line Cinema will also go exclusively with Blu-ray. Can HBO titles be far behind?

Warner Bros. to go Exclusive with Blu-Ray in 2008