The Gloves Are Off [6:10 pm]
And the fight over the next generation DVD format really begins: Paramount to Drop Blu-Ray HD DVDs
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will offer next-generation DVDs in the HD DVD format and drop support for Blu-ray, further complicating the race between the competing technologies.
[...] ”Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater, and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience,” said Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.
”I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high-quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount,” he said.
[...] Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, said consumers seeking to switch to high-definition DVDs will be enticed by the movies available for HD-DVD players. He added the lower price for the Toshiba devices will appeal to the family market.
”It’s a game-changer, what they’re doing, and it’s why we decided to throw in with them,” Katzenberg said.
Standalone HD DVD players have a bigger slice of the market than Blu-ray players. But when you count Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console, which comes with a Blu-ray drive, there are more Blu-ray players in U.S. homes.
The format battle — which many had assumed was nearly over — could drag on for years, one analyst said.
“We don’t see an early winner in this,” said Jan Saxton of Adams Media Research Inc. in Carmel. “Most people are not aware that the original video format [battle] between Betamax and VHS lasted 10 years.”
Katzenberg and Rob Moore, Paramount’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution, declined to comment on Internet reports that hefty payments were the motivating factor spurring the two studios.