Blockbuster to back Blu-ray exclusively

— 11:12 AM on June 18, 2007

Blockbuster has dealt a blow to Toshiba, Intel, Microsoft, and NEC's favorite high-definition disc format. CNet reports the video rental store chain has decided to rent out high definition movies in only the Blu-ray format at its retail stores starting next month. Blockbuster justifies the decision by pointing to slower sales for HD DVD discs than for Blu-ray. Blu-ray sales have been outpacing HD DVD sales since Sony launched the PlayStation 3 late last year.

According to recent estimates by the HD DVD Promotion Group, 1.2 million HD DVD movies have been sold so far, compared to 1.5 million Blu-ray movies. The ratio of HD DVD devices to Blu-ray devices looks even more unequal: 293,000 HD DVD-capable devices have been sold in the U.S. so far (150,000 stand-alone players and 143,000 Xbox 360 drives), compared to 1.3 million Blu-ray devices (100,000 standalone drives and 1.2 million PS3s).

Blockbuster does plan to offer HD DVD rentals via its online rental service, though.

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