Tuesday, January 08, 2008
HD DVD headed to laserdisc Heaven
Aw, come on! - The hits keep coming for the HD DVD as rumors of Paramount flipping over to Blu-ray open up the strong possibility that the final nail is in its coffin. Check out this post that was on Yahoo! earlier today.
How many "death blows" will it take for Blu-ray to finally win the format war against HD DVD? I've been hearing that phrase (and writing about it) since July 2007. Well here comes another one. Following in the footsteps of Warner Brothers' abandonment of the HD DVD format, reports are surfacing that Paramount is headed to Blu-ray as well. This is huge news not just because it would leave just one major studio (Universal, plus the mini-major DreamWorks) producing HD DVD content. It would mark the first time in the high-def war that a studio has abandoned one exclusive format and switched to another. Warner was producing both HD DVD and Blu-ray discs and merely dropped the HD DVD ones. Paramount will have to switch entirely to Blu-ray, which it has not been producing up to now. According to the Financial Times, Paramount has a clause in its contract with the HD DVD camp allowing it to switch to Blu-ray in the event that Warner was to do so. And exercising that clause is what's about to happen. It's also theorized that DreamWorks will follow Paramount, since the studios are closely tied together. Nothing's been announced yet, but this should be wrapped up in fairly short order. Stay tuned.
The lesson, as always, follow your own advice. I wrote a few months ago that it was too early to pick sides, and that's exactly what I did. At least I should soon be able to start a nice collection of HD DVD's because you know those bad boys will drop in value like rocks pretty soon. Then I'll horde them and in 10 years sell them on ebay for a ton of money. At least, that's what I hope.
But wait, there's more (added 10:48pm) - First caught this on Kotaku, but click here to see the original Reuters story about Microsoft considering Blu-ray support. Yes, that's right, even Bill Gates will turn his back on the HD DVD player if there's no money in it. In a way this makes perfect sense, MS has been passionately denying an HD DVD 360 and now we know why they wanted it as an add on in the first place. "Hey, if that whole HD DVD thing doesn't work out, we'll just come out with a Blu-ray add on instead." Way to cover your bases Microsoft. If MS does end up going with a Blu-ray add on, they damn well better give those of us shmucks who bought an HD DVD a great deal on it. I think a straight up trade would be fair.