The format wars continue to grow…

Credit: Video Business

Up until now, Blu-ray was reveling in the fact that their software outsold HD DVD by a margin of two-to-one for the first part of 2007.

Now Paramount is shaking things up a bit.

Video Business is reporting that the Paramount Pictures will support HD DVD exclusively. Prior to this announcement the studio had gone from strictly HD DVD to supporting both formats.

But now, this announcement means that all movies from Paramount – including DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies, and MTV Films – will be released in high-definition on HD DVD only worldwide.

Films from DreamWorks Animation, which hasn’t yet released any films on high-def, also will debut on HD DVD only.

Films from Steven Spielberg, however, will be released on both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Such a move means that Warner Home Video is the only studio releasing films on both formats. Paramount joins Universal Studios Home Entertainment as exclusively in the HD DVD camp.

The switch will put both formats on more equal footing in terms of content as they head into the fourth quarter. Blu-ray had a content lead with films expected from all studios except Universal. Now, it will lose Paramount’s stellar slate, which includes Transformers and Shrek the Third, both of which will debut on HD DVD.

The studio cited HD DVD’s low price as a reason for its support.

“Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience,” Paramount Pictures chair and CEO Brad Grey said. “I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount.”

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg cited HD DVD’s commitment to put out low-cost players and a significant number of titles as a reason for the studio’s decision to side with the format.

“We decided to release Shrek the Third and other DreamWorks Animation titles exclusively on HD DVD because we believe it is the best format to bring high quality home entertainment to a key segment of our audience—families,” Katzenberg said.