Blu-ray Back on Top, Thanks to Blockbuster

Dennis Faas's picture

Just when it seemed as though the war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD was settling back into a stalemate, the former has once again regained its position atop the high-definition movie standings. Sony's Blu-ray will be the only format supported by Blockbuster when the movie and game retail chain integrates HD content into all of its stores next month.

Recently Toshiba, the primary backer of HD-DVD, made headlines with the announcement that it will ship its own HD format "under the hood" of future laptops. That means that HD-DVD drives will be standard in all Toshiba notebooks in the future, a move much like Sony's decision to include Blu-ray in its PlayStation 3.

Blockbuster's action reaffirms Blu-ray's dominance, however. Although some 250 stores have both HD-DVD and Blu-ray in stock at the moment, when HD material is bumped up to 1,450 stores it will be the latter, exclusively. (Source:

So, why Blu-ray?

Blockbuster's limited renting of HD movies has been nothing more than an experiment. The results? Customers choose Blu-ray 70% of the time. "The consumers are sending us a message. I can't ignore what I'm seeing," said Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising for Blockbuster. (Source:

With Blu-ray boasting more studio support than HD-DVD, retailer exclusivity could, and perhaps should, put the final nail in the coffin as high definition movies move forward.

However, with news, previews, and reviews changing all the time, nothing's yet set in stone.

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