Movie-rental company (and one time GameStation parent), Blockbuster, has said that it is to rent high-definition DVDs in the Sony-backed Blu-ray format only, at 1,450 of its U.S. stores – a significant blow to the Microsoft and Toshiba-backed HD DVD high definition movie format.
"The consumers are sending us a message. I can't ignore what I'm seeing," Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbusters, told the Associated Press news agency.
Mr Smith pointed out that most studios were offering films on Blu-ray, with the exception of Universal which has been supplying films on HD DVD alone.
"While it is still too early to say which high-definition format will become the industry standard, we will continue to closely monitor customer rental patterns both at our stores and online, so we can adjust our inventory mix accordingly and ensure that Blockbuster is offering customers the most convenient access to the movies they want, in the format they want," added Smith.
The North American HD DVD Promotional Group claim that Blockbuster's move is short sighted, and has been prompted by the success of films released exclusively on Blu-ray to date such as Casino Royale and Spider-Man III. But then of course, they would say that!
Meanwhile, while we wait for Nintendo to release (standard) DVD-enabled Wiis, are we likely to see a Microsoft-backed Blu-ray movie player add-on for Xbox 360 sometime soon?