Video game giant Electronic Arts and leading video game publisher Vivendi Universal have announced that they will be lending their support to the ‘Blu-Ray’ disc format which will be used in the PlayStation 3.
The two companies joined the Blu-Ray Disc Association (BDA) this month, in a move which although unsurprising, still comes as a blow to the competing HD-DVD standard.
Both formats are designed to provide much higher storage capacity than the current DVD technology standard. Single-layer Blu-Ray discs are able to hold around 25Gb with the dual layer version holding around 50Gb. Single-layer HD-DVD discs are able to hold around 15Gb with the dual layer version holding around 30Gb.
The two incompatible formats are each being supported by a consortium of technology and movie companies, with Blu-Ray's backers including Sony, MGM and Disney while HD-DVD numbers Toshiba, Warner Bros and Paramount among its supporters.
EA and VUG are the first large game companies to align themselves with either standard, but their decision is hardly unexpected; Blu-Ray already has a crucial foothold in the games industry thanks to Sony's decision to use it in the next-generation PlayStation 3 console.
The backing of the games industry is seen as crucial by some, since the PlayStation 3 may well be one of the first Blu-Ray consumer devices to win widespread acceptance - just as the PlayStation 2 helped to drive the early adoption of the DVD standard.
Microsoft has yet to reveal which disc technology Xbox 2 will use, although rumours last year suggested that the firm was seriously considering adopting the HD-DVD discs.
The decision will be an important one for the firm - backing the wrong standard could have huge financial implications down the line, as costs will be higher for the less successful format.