â€œWe are delighted that the HD DVD format has been independently endorsed by Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros. Studios.â€
Mr. Tadashi Okamura, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation.
The HD-DVD: silver medalist the most recent format war, a contest where everybody except gold is taken out back and shot through the head. It seemed that HD-DVD was off to a flying start â€“ that quote contains some very big names and it was the truth and nothing but the truth. That just leaves a little thing called â€œthe whole truthâ€, and thatâ€™s where things get interesting. There are lots of other big names which had pledged Blu-Ray allegiance, like Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Buena Vista pictures â€“ and strangely enough Sony Pictures seemed unwilling to produce HD-DVDs.
The stage was set for a pitched battle that could have rocked the ages except for one tiny thing â€“ the customers just didnâ€™t care. Big business seemed genuinely confused that the peons werenâ€™t lining up, pleading for the chance to buy all their movies again in a slightly different, more expensive format. Frothing technical analyses raged back and forth across the web starkly ignorant of the fact that unless youâ€™re a T800 armed with a precision microscope there is absolutely no difference between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. In fact, for regular humans, both have to work very hard to prove thereâ€™s anything wrong with the DVDs we already own and â€œBecause the people selling the new things say soâ€ doesnâ€™t cut it.
Realizing that theyâ€™d thrown a war and nobody was coming Warner Bros took decisive action. The increasingly expensive and pointless conflict didnâ€™t have to be â€œwonâ€, it had to be OVER and as quickly as possible. In January 2008 they ended it in the form of a massive, WB-logoed dagger in HD-DVDs back by jumping to the Blu-Ray camp. From that point on HD-DVD was a fast-motion recreation of the Titanic with extra ice, and a month later Toshiba raised the surrender flag.