Universal Studios has announced that it will stop releasing movies on the dead-as-a-dodo HD DVD format. In a statement issued earlier, Universal says it will support Blu-ray exclusively now that the future of the format war is assured.

"The path for widespread adoption of the next-generation platform has finally become clear. Universal will continue its aggressive efforts to broaden awareness for hi-def’s unparalleled offerings in interactivity and connectivity, at an increasingly affordable price.  

“The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate. While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalogue titles on Blu-ray."

Blu-ray camp swells

Universal was one of only two major studios – the other being Paramount – that exclusively supported HD DVD right up until the end. There was a third – Warner – and its defection to the Blu side has been blamed by Toshiba as being the catalyst for the downfall of the HD DVD format.  

There’s no word from Paramount yet on whether it will follow suit. But it’s a bit of a no-brainer that it will. The only question is: when? We can only assume that an announcement is imminent.

Meanwhile, Paramount has defied these predictions by announcing details of two new HD DVD titles: Sweeney Todd and There Will Be Blood.