Those of you who haven't yet given up following the high definition format war altogether (I'm getting very close) and resigned yourselves to the fact that we'll be waiting a fair while yet to see an outcome may wish to re-evaluate your stance. Having spent until now sitting on the fence between both format's camps, Warner has now decided to throw its lot in with Blu-ray and will be releasing titles on Blu-ray and DVD only as of May this year; the delay being introduced to give consumers time to adjust.
Kevin Tsujihara , Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group President, stated that "A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry. Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience." Warner has until now been the only major supporter of both formats, and as such is probably in a better position that most players to determine the format most in demand by its customers.
Time Warner President and CEO Jeff Bawkes' reasserted this view, commenting that "Today's decision by Warner Bros. to distribute in a single format comes at the right time and is the best decision both for consumers and Time Warner." With Blu-ray profile 1.1 players finally equalling the (arguably superfluous) specs of their HD DVD rivals, such as dual video decoders for picture in picture and mandatory network connectivity and onboard storage I think he makes a fair point.
Personally I'm pleased with the announcement, but then I do own a PlayStation 3 and am thus slightly biased. Nonetheless, whichever format wins, the fact remains that there are situations when offering consumers more choice is more a hindrance than help and I believe the ongoing HD debacle is one of them; so kudos for Warner for finally taking a side, whether it is ultimately the right one or not.