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Wal-Mart to Drop HD DVD by June, Best Buy to Recommend Blu-ray

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008 3:14 PM

The news just keeps getting worse for the HD DVD camp. In just the past month and a half, there have been enough press releases and news articles written that are bad news for the format that anyone remotely familiar with the topic is aware that HD DVD has been marked for death.

Early this week, Netflix said that it would be dropping HD DVD in the near future. Those of us Netflix subscribers that have HD DVD flagged as a disc format option in their Netflix accounts received news about their plans for phasing out HD DVDs in favor of Blu-ray as the only high definition option. 

That was followed by Best Buy coming out with an announcement of their own that when customers come into their stores looking for HD goodness to show on their HDTV's, Blu-ray would be recommended. While not dropping HD DVD altogether, this isn't good news for anyone looking for movies in red boxes, and Toshiba can't be happy about being placed in the back of the store next to the overstock microwave ovens, either.

Now, an official blog operated by the gadgets and technology team at WalMart and Sam's Club is saying that WalMart will be stocking Blu-ray exclusively by June. This is confirmed by a statement on the WalMartFacts.com web site as well. Since both of these sites are linked from the WalMart web site, I'll take them as official voices for the company.

So far, Toshiba, Paramount, Universal, and Dreamworks have not officially changed their position on the HD DVD format. But given the amount of bad news that has been heaped upon the format in just the last eight weeks, I don't see how they can continue to beat the drum that HD DVD is still their chosen path.

At this point, it doesn't matter whether HD DVD still provides the best value for the money, the format has been taken out back and shot so many times, there just isn't anything left to the poor thing. Unless they have a major ace (or three) up their sleeve, it's time to fold 'em and call it a day. If they've got the goods, they ought to play their hand.

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