With the recent announcement of Paramount becoming HD-DVD exclusive, everyone has turned his or her attention to Warner Bros. The last major studio to remain HD neutral, WB is in a unique position to sway the media format war in one direction or another.
During the last few weeks, several events have occurred, including rumored Microsoft and HD-DVD payoffs to Paramount and Dreamworks in exchange for an exclusivity agreement. This, coupled with HD-DVD's recently announced 51 GB disc, and even more rumors of money being put on the table, has created quite the buzz around the net as to whether Warner Bros. are currently being courted into a similar deal.
TWICE Magazine recently had the opportunity to speak with Ron Sanders, President of Warner Home Video, and clarified just what is going on right now inside the company and what outside influences there are.
In response to a report by the Los Angeles Times, which speculated that Warner had received a tempting offer to back only the HD-DVD format, Sanders had the following to say:
"We're talking to both sides and it’s crazy right now. We’ll see how the fourth quarter plays out. The consumer is still kind of divided, and we still believe that we should offer the content in both formats. Now, we will watch the marketplace very closely, and see how it plays out, but for now we are supporting both."
While this comment in no way confirms or denies the offers in question, it does however, mean that at least for this holiday season, WB will remain neutral. Also, from the sound of things, Sony and the Blu-ray Disc Association have also been in contact with Warner Bros. regarding a possible deal as well.
With Warner remaining neutral, both the BDA and the HD-DVD camp are in an even fiercer battle this holiday season, as it is likely that a combination of highest bid and best sales numbers is the key to claiming one more major studio. Be sure to check back for more updates on this, and all Blu-ray news here at PSU.