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WalMart drops HD DVD

dvd warsLike a ball rolling down hill, HD DVD’s demise appears to be picking up speed and momentum.  Following on the heels of Netflix announcement, and similar news from Best Buy, now Wal-Mart too is dropping the format in favor of rival Blu Ray too.

Both on their blog and in a statement, Wal-Mart has acknowledged HD DVD will be phased out of their stores within a few months.

"We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases," said Gary Severson, SVP of home entertainment for Wal-Mart U.S.  

That’s virtually identical to the sentiment expressed by Best Buy president Brian Dunn who commented "We’ve listened to our customers, and we are responding."

With retailers dropping like flies, each player still sold at a loss, and virtually no studio support, it can’t be much longer before Toshiba, the primary backer of the HD DVD format, throws in the towel. 

For now, they are still taking a measured tone and saying that they will continue to study “the market impact.”  The Hollywood Reporter is reporting, however, that that is largely PR and they’re likely to acknowledge defeat within a few weeks. If Amazon, Universal or Paramount abandon HD DVD before hand, it could accelerate the process even more.

(Amazon hasn’t made any announcements but they are running a sale on HD DVD discs. That may be purely coincidental, it may be a sign of inventory reduction, or it may be a market test to gauge whether there is enough customer support to continue to stock the format).

The eulogy has been out there since the Consumer Electronics Show. The new news isn’t that the format war is over, just a factor of when the white flag is raised. That day keeps getting closer.

More on Toshiba’s predicament, how Warner Brother’s broke the stalemate in the format war, and the differences between Blu Ray and HD DVD can be found in prior Metue coverage from the related articles below.


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A CES Eulogy: Warner Brothers Slays HD DVD
Blu-Ray vs HD DVD: Checking Alliances and Choosing Sides
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Scorecard Round 1: HD DVD vs Blu-Ray

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