After Toshiba's announcement yesterday that it was finally pulling the plug on HD DVD, it was only a matter of time before all the format's other supporters threw their towels in as well, but the process has begun a lot sooner than might have been expected. Universal, the biggest HD DVD-exclusive studio has, unsurprisingly, decided to announce that henceforth it will be backing Blu-ray as its HD distribution format and ceasing production of HD DVDs.
Aside from Toshiba, Universal has been considered the biggest backer of HD DVD, and has remained exclusive to the format since its introduction. Its switch to Blu-ray, then, is likely the final nail in the coffin for the format, were anymore needed, with only Paramount yet to announce its intentions.
Previous rumours indicated that Paramount's exclusivity contract with HD DVD contained a get-out clause allowing the studio to defect should Warner do so first. Given that supposition and the current moves by just about every studio and manufacturer towards the Blu team, it's only a matter of time before we hear something from them.
In related news, Samsung and Onyko have now also announced they will be scaling back (and likely ceasing) production of HD DVD players. As I mentioned yesterday, it's only a matter of time before every company announces similar moves since there's no logical reason to continue to support the format now that Toshiba has admitted defeat.