In a surprising twist in the nex-gen format war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, Paramount Studios and Dreamworks Animation have announced today that they will exclusively support the HD-DVD format on a worldwide basis. This exclusive commitment will include all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment. That's right, this means that "Transformers" and "Shrek 3" will be available only through HD-DVD. Notable exceptions to this announcement, however, are Steven Spielberg films, which will continue to be distributed in either hi-def format. Despite NPD data indicating that Blu-Ray discs are outselling HD-DVD discs as much as 2:1, both movie companies still felt it would be a wiser move to choose HD-DVD.
"The combination of Paramount and DreamWorks Animation brings a critical mass of current box office hits to consumers with a line-up of live action and animated films that are perfect for HD DVD," stated Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. "Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater, and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience. I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount."