We've all been wondering what to make of those whispers that Warner (owned by Time Warner, which also owns Engadget's parent companies) was indeed going Blu-ray exclusive, and apparently, those rumblings are true. Based on a breaking release, Warner Bros. Entertainment will be releasing its high-definition titles "exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year." According to Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, the move is a "strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want," and he also noted that "the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger." Notably, Warner will continue to release on both HD DVD and Blu-ray until May 2008, but after that, it's BD for life for this studio. Oh, and while there's nothing official mentioning any sort of payoff, we're hearing that quite a sum was dished out to make this happen. Full release posted after the jump.
[Via Deadline Hollywood Daily, thanks Todd]
(January 4, 2008 – Burbank, CA) – In response to consumer demand, Warner Bros. Entertainment will release its high-definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
"Warner Bros.' move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want," said Meyer. "The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers."
Warner Home Video will continue to release its titles in standard DVD format and Blu-ray. After a short window following their standard DVD and Blu-ray releases, all new titles will continue to be released in HD DVD until the end of May 2008.
"Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices," said Jeff Bewkes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner Inc., the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment. "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."
"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," said Tsujihara. "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 Bros. has worked very closely with the Toshiba Corporation in promoting high definition media and we have enormous respect for their efforts. We look forward to working with them on other projects in the future."