BENTONVILLE, Arkansas: Wal-Mart Stores said Friday that it had picked Blu-ray over HD DVD in the market battle for the format of high-definition video.
Wal-Mart, the largest U.S. retailer, said it had decided to sell only Blu-ray DVDs and hardware in its 4,000 U.S. stores and would no longer carry rival HD DVD offerings.
The announcement comes five days after Netflix said it would stop carrying rentals in Toshiba’s HD DVD format and instead go exclusively with the rival Sony technology favored by five major movie studios.
Toshiba and Sony have been vying to set the standard for high-definition DVDs and players. The stakes are high because the winner will also get a lift from sales of DVD players needed to read the new format.
Several large retailers have come down on Blu-ray’s side, including Target and Blockbuster.
We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” Gary Severson, head of home entertainment for Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, said in a statement.
Wal-Mart said it would phase out all HD DVD offerings by June.
Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs membership warehouses will continue to sell standard definition movies and DVD players as well as converter technology.
Sony has taken a considerable lead in the format rivalry in recent months, gaining the endorsement of Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which also owns DreamWorks SKG, and Universal Pictures, a unit of General Electric, have opted to release films only in HD DVD.
Still, many consumers have held off on buying a high-definition DVD player until the dominant format is decided.
Sony did it again. Toshiba, since not getting any much support from other major manufacturers unlike Sony, has announced on February 16th that they will stop producing HD DVD and put an end to all other productions that are related as well. It is clear that Sony, who has the largest share at the moment, won the war that has been lingering on. But, to be honest, how many of you own a high-definition DVD player ? Do we actually need it ? But I guess the DVD age will still last for some time because most people have not find the need to get a high-definition one yet which is still very high at cost. Sony has always been strong in the world of recordable materials from the age of tapes. What other type of materials are we to expect from Sony from now on ? Que sera sera.