Blu-ray lands the big fish, Sony must be jubilant

Right about now, the executives at Sony who were initially sweating out their decision to include Blu-ray in the PlayStation 3 must be giggling like a bunch of little schoolgirls. What was once attacked as one of the biggest mistakes in gaming history is starting to resemble a good idea. The momentum  for the Blu-ray camp may have been slow in coming, but today it would seem that they’ve found a friend, and landed the motherload — in Wal-Mart — who will be completely phasing out HD-DVD disks over the next couple of months:

“We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” said Gary Severson, Wal-Mart’s Senior Vice President of Home Entertainment in a statement.

Considering how powerful a force Wally’s World is, that has to sting pretty bad — but it gets worse for HD-DVD fans. The Hollywood Reporter is circulating the rumor that industry insiders are expecting Toshiba to walk away from the HD-DVD table at any moment. Is the format war finally over?  We sure hope so. It overstayed its welcome as it was.

Catch the Press Release, after the jump: 

 

Wal-Mart Moving Exclusively Toward Blu-ray Format Movies and Players 

Bentonville, Ark., Feb. 15, 2008 – Wal-Mart Stores, U.S. today announces that its 4,000 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores will move forward this year with one hi-definition movie and hardware format: Blu-ray.  The change will take place quickly over the next several months whereby the retailer will phase out HD DVD offerings and reorganize shelf space.  By June, Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Clubs, www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com will offer only Blu-ray movies and hardware machines, as well as standard definition movies and DVD players, and up converts.

“We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” said Gary Severson, senior vice president, Home Entertainment, Wal-Mart, U.S.  “With the customers best interest in all we do, we wanted to share our decision and timeline with them as soon as possible, knowing it will help simplify their purchase decision, increase selection, and increase adoption long term.  We anticipate enhancing our selection with continued great values in hi-definition Blu-ray products, so our customers can further enhance their entertainment experience at home.”

Wal-Mart will continue to sell through remaining HD DVD product, but in less than 30 days customers will see a more predominant move toward Blu-ray in stores, clubs and online.  As the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart thoughtfully reviewed all areas and impact in making its decision, and is excited to move forward with one format and share its future plans with customers.

[Via CNNMoney — Thanks, dvddesign, Jonothan, and whoever else I may have overlooked]

SRVSLPS