Wal-Mart to sell only Blu-Ray DVDs, not HD DVDs

Wal-Mart Stores Inc decided to exclusively sell high-definition DVDs in the Blu-Ray format,which could be a heavy blow to the rival HD DVD technology backed by Toshiba Corp.

In a statement on its Web site, Wal-Mart said that over the next few months it will phase out sales of HD DVD systems and discs. By June, it will sell only products in the Blu-ray format which was developed by Sony Corp.

“We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” said Gary Severson, a Wal-Mart senior vice president.

The so-called format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray has been a thorn in the side of retailers, which have had to commit shelf space to devices from both camps even as they field complaints from frustrated and confused customers.

The balance of power tipped toward the Sony camp in January after Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros studio said it would only release high-definition DVDs in Blu-ray format.

Blu-ray also has support from News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Co. and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

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