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HD DVD camp in $150m Paramount bribe

Toshiba's HD DVD format is selling more standalone players than Sony's Blu-ray

It was announced late yesterday that Paramount and its Dreamworks Animation arm were ditching the Blu-ray disc format in favour of going HD DVD exclusive. But now it seems that the HD DVD camp may have bribed Paramount to the tune of $150m to make the deal happen.

Deadline Hollywood Daily says of the deal: "Note how there's no mention of the money Paramount (I'm told $50 million) and DreamWorks Animation (I'm told $100 million) is receiving for 'promotional consideration' from the HD DVD side to continue with what is widely recognised as the losing high-def format."

Gizmodo put the bribery claims to Paramount and the Toshiba-led HD DVD camp, and received this response: "Whenever we conduct co-marketing, production deals or other agreements, we never discuss business terms."

So that's not a denial then. It just goes to show the amount of money that's involved in the HD format war. That one side can afford to throw $150m at a company for its support indicates the kind of stakes involved.

Format wars: what's the outcome?

Neither side wants to lose this format war, so instead of one withdrawing and admitting defeat, it seems much more likely that both formats will exist side-by-side for some time to come.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future.