Shortly after publishing Blu-Ray is the new VHS on this blog, reports began popping up throughout the internet that Paramount, one of the major studios left supporting Toshiba’s HD DVD format will abandon ship and join Warner Bros. in their recent move to release all HD movies exclusively in the Blu-Ray format.
As reported by Engadget.com late last night, Paramount is preparing to use a get out clause in its HD DVD exclusivity deal with Toshiba and go back to Blu-Ray. And earlier today, Reuters also reported that Paramount was poised to drop support for the HD DVD format.
Since the recent announcement by Warner Bros. to release all HD movies exclusively in the Blu-Ray format and with only 2 studios (Paramount & Universal) left supporting HD DVD, things have not been looking good for Toshiba. Now with reports like the ones above hinting that Paramount might also be joining the Blu-Ray camp, things look even more gloom. Fortunately for Toshiba, Paramount earlier today denied that they will drop Toshiba’s HD DVD format. This news release comes at a good time for Toshiba but is it too little too late? Paramount not dropping HD DVD does not mean it may not support Blu-Ray in the future once their exclusive HD DVD contract with Toshiba is up for renewal.
You can bet neither Paramount or Universal will make a public announcement about moving formats anytime soon even if they are following Warner Bros. lead and heading in that direction – at least not until the majority of their HD DVD inventory has been sold.
VHS beating out Betamax in the 80’s consumer videotape war format has become a great marketing case study. In 20 years time, will the format war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD also make it into marketing textbooks?