Retailers mixed on impact of Warner's HD DVD snub

While clearly a blow, retailers are divided on whether the move actually amounts to a death knell to the format, which is battling Blu-ray.

While there's no doubt Warner Bros.' decision to support Blu-ray exclusively is a major setback to the HD DVD camp, retailers say it's too soon to declare "game over."

Circuit City CEO Philip J. Schoonover, who has had precious little to be happy about of late, said the move is a sign that the battle is starting to shake out.

"We're very excited to see progress of any type," Schoonover said. "We see this as progress."

The head of consumer electronics merchandising at Target said the move "probably moves things a little bit," but said consumers are still largely sitting on the sidelines until there is a single choice. "By no means do we think we are ready to declare a winner."

Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson said the decision will help the company decide where to put its energy. "It makes it easier for us as a retailer to push it to one format." But he said, it's still a tough sell as long as retailers can't promise a customer that the next hit release will play on their pricey new player.

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