In a move that helps even the odds between the competing next generation high definition DVD formats, Paramount Pictures has abandoned its support for Blu-ray and will now release movies exclusively on the rival HD DVD format. All movies made and distributed by the studio – including those from DreamWorks Animation SKG, DreamWorks Pictures (excluding Steven Spielberg films), Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV – will now be available only on HD DVD, with Blades of Glory, Transformers and Shrek the Third leading the Christmas lineup of blockbusters necessary to convince buyers that HD DVD-s film catalogue is as appealing as Blu-ray’s.

Paramount’s decision is a coup for the HD DVD camp, which will be looking to parlay the studio’s leading position in box office revenues to the home movie market, and sees the company join Universal in exclusive support for HD DVD. Blu-ray, however, still has the numbers on its side, with Sony Pictures, Fox, Walt Disney, MGM and Lions Gate releasing films only on Blu-ray. Paramount says the decision was made following ‘an extensive evaluation of current market offerings, which confirmed the clear benefits of HD DVD, particularly its market-ready technology and lower manufacturing costs’.