I must say I am rather pleased by the decision by Woolworths decision to drop HD DVD from its stores in favour of Blu-ray. Not, as some might have you believe, because I have an unhealthy interest in the one format over the other but rather because it's nice to see a company seizing a bit of initiative and helping do what I have been wishing would happen since the start of the format war - try and stop it.
Alas the reasoning give by Woolworths isn't quite as compelling as one might hope. Steve McGuinel, Woolworths' DVD buyer, stating that "Sales figures clearly show that the market is moving towards one format of high definition DVD. The main reason is the success of Sony's PlayStation 3 machine. Because it plays Blu-Ray discs, there are over ¾ million homes in the UK that can view the new high definition format. There is nowhere near that number of HD-DVD players around. Switching to Blu-Ray only, will provide one clear offer to customers in the format they want to watch high definition movies in."
Ok, I'll accept the first part of his argument, the one week's figures we have post Warner's defection away from HD DVD shows a strong uptake of Blu-ray, but as the source of that data also reinforced: it's just one week's data. The attachment rate for Blu-ray discs to PlayStation 3's is rather low because, oddly enough, most people buy the things to play games on - Sony has a lot more educating to do yet I feel.
Nonetheless, and it's a big one, I fully expect that other retailers will now feel safer following suit and joining the format war ending move to exclusivity. It may not please the HD DVD early adopters, but that's the price of progress.