Whilst I’m not a fan of the partisan editorialising that the otherwise excellent The Digital Bits have had to the format war in recent months, I do trust Bill and the gang and their accuracy is usually spot on.
I’ve heard a few behind-the-scenes rumbles myself this week in the wake of the Warners defection, and a recent update by the DB pretty much matches and quite succinctly summarises what I’ve been hearing is going to happen (and NOT what the PR people are spinning):
“Reliable industry sources are telling us that Paramount is indeed preparing to end their HD-DVD support and announce a return to the Blu-ray fold. Details are currently being finalized, and an announcement is expected as soon as they’re complete.
Paramount’s first new Blu-rays will almost certainly include many of those titles that were cancelled last year, but that were already packaged and ready for shipping, so you could see them in stores very quickly once the studio announces.
Meanwhile, sources are telling us that Universal has also been talking with the BDA, and is looking to follow Paramount and Warner’s lead as soon as possible.”
It truly is looking like by the end of the month the ‘war’ may be over and if that is a case then it’s up to the studios to get rolling on releases fast to get consumers in – none of these half a dozen mostly crappy titles a week, it should be more like two dozen including the big catalog titles we all want to see – boxsets like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, James Bond, the pre-Cars Pixar movies, etc.
The column also adds a juicy new rumour I hadn’t heard myself – “Apple’s Steve Jobs may announce the addition of Blu-ray Disc drives to their Mac desktop lineup at next week’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco”.