updated 09:35 am EST, Thu February 21, 2008
Paramount Adopts Blu-ray
Paramount has become the last studio to drop HD DVD, the company quietly said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie house said it would begin releasing movies on Blu-ray in the near future and claimed it was "pleased" that the industry had chosen a single HD movie disc format. This should help the end user, Paramount claims. The company follows previous HD DVD holdout Universal in switching to Blu-ray and came more than a day after Toshiba halted HD DVD production, leaving both studios with virtually no alternative but to opt for Blu-ray.
Paramount's choice of HD DVD exclusivity was considered controversial when it surfaced in August, coming as the result of a $150 million payout that saw the studio turned from a dual-format approach in an attempt to provide HD DVD with a studio advantage that it had lacked until that time. Transformers director Michael Bay criticized the move both for its artificially limiting the market for his movies as well as making claims that Microsoft was responsible for the deal in an attempt to push viewers towards direct-download services.
Microsoft has typically denied the claims and frequently stood to benefit through sales of its HD DVD attachment for the Xbox 360, which remains on sale but is likely to be phased out in favor of a Blu-ray replacement.