Blu-ray winning format war?
The fight between the high definition formats of Blu-ray and HD-DVD has taken two major turns this week, first up is the announcement from Warner Bros. that they are going exclusively Blu-ray.
The second is that one of the major adult industry studios is releasing the biggest budgeted adult film to date exclusively on Blu-ray, and whatever you may think of them, the adult industry has always been the leader of new formats and technology.
“Time Warner's Warner Bros. studio Friday said it would exclusively release high-definition DVDs in Sony Corp's Blu-ray format, dealing a big blow to Toshiba Corp's rival HD DVD technology.
Warner Bros, Hollywood's biggest seller of DVDs, representing about 18 to 20% of sales in the United States, was one of the few studios that backed both formats.”
Barry Meyer, the Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive, has hit the nail on his head with his comment about the ongoing battle and why the decision needs to be made as soon as possible. With DVD sales falling last year in the first significant decline in sales since the first release in 1997, the studios are beginning to get worried.
“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”
The other piece of news is that Pirates, which I've written about before, the largest grossing and budgeted adult film of all time, is being released by Digital Playground on Blu-ray.
Digital Playground are one of the leading adult industry studios, and previously these studios were releasing films in high definition on the WMV-HD format, a format that allowed high definition to be encoded on standard DVD's and decoded before playback on PC's.
Back in March of 2006 I wrote about this and how the mainstream studios weren't releasing much on this format while the adult studios were, and making rather a large amount of money from them. Not only that but the adult studios were already filming in HD pretty much as standard, making sure their content was ready for transfer to whatever format would win out.
Now it looks as though they are moving from WMV-HD to Blu-ray, well at least with their flagship film Pirates.
According to IGN the disc comes with a behind the scenes look in high definition, an audio commentary with the stars, various casting and bloopers shorts, and no region coding – everything a mainstream DVD would come with.
Now if some of you can put aside the possible negative and distasteful thoughts you might be having, the adult industry has always led mainstream studios towards new formats, cinema, video, DVD, online, and although they've been slow in this move this could be the start of the change.
So we see one of the largest adult studios releasing their flagship film on Blu-ray and Warner Bros. choosing Blu-ray for their entire catalogue. It does now make one format far stronger in terms of content.
The question will be if the other studios follow, and if the rumoured HD-DVD drive in the next Xbox 360 does appear, however I suspect they may be thinking on releasing a Blu-ray attachable drive in the near future. I also suspect, although there's plenty of time to be proven wrong, that Blu-ray is inching closer to being the dominant format.