Walmart: Thanks For Buying All Those HD DVD Players, We're Switching To Blu-Ray

Walmart has just announced that they’re going blu-ray exclusive. The store will no longer carry HD DVD movies or hardware.

“We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” Gary Severson, head of home entertainment for Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, said in a statement.

Thanks for buying all those HD DVD players on Black Friday, though.

Wal-Mart Picks Blu-Ray Over HD DVD [AP]


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  1. Frostberg says:

    Ironic video…
    Blu-Ray FTW

  2. swissdietcoke says:

    dupe? On Consumerist? What is this, slashdot?

  3. Whitey Fisk says:

    Why pick on Wal-Mart? The whole industry is going this way, they’re just following the trend like everyone else.

  4. GC says:

    @Whitey Fisk: Wal-Mart deserves it.

    No matter how bid it ever is, Wal-Mart deserves it.

  5. GC says:

    *bad. Oops.

  6. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    They even got both articles on the front page at the same time. Did you guys hire Zonk as a new editor or something?

  7. I think early adoption is a chicken and the egg argument. If no one adopts early, then the formats just languish for years until they make a decision. If a bunch of people adopt early, they choose a format, and all of the losing formats owners are SOL.

  8. Antediluvian says:

    I’m thinking I can get an HD-DVD player cheap along with a bunch of cheap discs at closeout deals. I suspect it’ll likely be not supported long-term but if the savings on the discs are large enough, after a few discs I’ll have paid for the player. Also, in the meantime Blu-Ray players should drop in price.
    We’ll see.

  9. MercuryPDX says:

    I bet this means Blow-out pricing on all their remaining stock, ensuring some sucker will go “Ooooo HD-DVDs are 2 for $5!!! And the Player is only $75!!!! SCORE!”

  10. MercuryPDX says:

    @Antediluvian: LOL simulpost

  11. crescentia says:

    I love my PS3. Victory!!!!!

  12. woodenturkey says:

    ahh my PS3 is looking better and better

  13. Meg Marco says:

    @swissdietcoke: @Jaysyn: That’s Gizmodo splicing in.

  14. descend says:

    @Whitey Fisk:

    Yeah, this just serves to cheapen legitimate criticism of WalMart. It’s no biggie that they picked sides in the format wars, just like everyone else. Sure, they’re huge and will direct massive amounts of business towards Blu-Ray, but I can’t really blame them because people decided to be early HDVD adopters.

  15. homerjay says:

    Thats the gamble that is the life of an early adopter. Lest we forget all those losers that bought the iPhone for $200 more than everyone else?

  16. Caduceus says:

    I think my favorite email this week is “Hundreds of HD-DVDs on Sale at AMAZON!!”

  17. chrisgeleven says:

    Last month my DVD player died and I thought long about what to do. I decided to go with buying a PS3 so I can have my own game system and so I could take advantage of Netflix to rent Blu-Ray movies.

    I am so glad I made that decision.

  18. ecwis says:

    For all those American Express card holders who bought HD DVD Players, you should be able to get most of your money back even if the retailer won’t let you return it.

    If you made the purchase in full with an American Express card, you should be able to get up to $300 back. Click the following link for more info.


  19. parad0x360 says:

    I need advice fellow site visitors… PLEASE HELP ME!

    Ok, I have a player for each format. I prefer HD-DVD but thats moot now anyways. So do I now buy HD-DVD’s at rock bottom prices and hope my HD-DVD player never dies or that maybe Dual Format players will still come out?


    Do I just not buy another hd-dvd again, miss out on great deals but not worry because I’ll only lose 20 movies if my player dies?

    Oh woe is me and my love of the cutting edge.

  20. technotica says:

    Big deal, I got my HD-DVD player for christmas as my normal DVD player died. I’m still happy with it (hard to turn down a gift).

    We’ll get a PS3, but in the meantime I’ll be picking up HD movies on the cheap. I don’t feel screwed at all.

  21. ecwis says:

    @parad0x360: I would probably buy them at rock bottom prices because your HD DVD player should last for a while. My Sony DVD players from the late 90’s have lasted about 10 years so far.

  22. @Git Em SteveDave: I think early adoption is a chicken and the egg argument. If no one adopts early, then the formats just languish for years until they make a decision. If a bunch of people adopt early, they choose a format, and all of the losing formats owners are SOL.
    Me so glad me had MBA classes Competitive Industry Analysis and Strategic Management. Classes dealed wit network effects. A format war essentially is a war over the benefits of network effects. It is ALWAYS winner take all. While there are two standards, the OLDER technology that the standards are replacing wins. Yes, the OLDER wins… QV: Plain old DVD.

    Smarter Strategy for the HD-DVD owners: quit when it started to look like you were losing. Offer to quit the market and sell your tech to the other guys for a share of the profits on HD-DVD. Or, even better, find a third standard, that worked with both. Then, profits take off.

    At any rate, now that we have a standard, Blue Ray FTW as the kids say, or maybe BluRay pwns HDDVD, the market is made.

    Don’t cry for early adopters. They knew what they were getting into. And when the competing standards for holographic TV come out, they will line up, pay exorbitant values, and some portion of them will get the standard war loser bone. Grudgingly, they will adopt, or they will write cranky blog posts claiming that Format_Loser was better than Format_Winner, and finding hacks to keep it going. Like Laser Disc owners.

  23. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I don’t see this as Wal*Mart’s fault…
    Of course, I’m waiting till the whole thing is settled before buying a player, so what do I know?

  24. Topcat says:

    Walmart’s actually been fairly savvy about the different formats: they backed HD-DVD because it offered the lowest cost solution for their customers at the time. Now that it’s clearly the losing format, they’re biting the bullet and making sure they aren’t selling their customers a lemon.

    That’s a bad thing?

  25. Kyle Pott says:

    This is a great thing!

  26. worrytron says:

    Format wars suck and all but did nobody see this coming? You takes your chances..

  27. DeadlySinz says:

    Nice to know that everyone that bought a HD DVD player will find out that those players will now become expensive door stops and paper weights.

    Blu-Ray FTW.

  28. Snarkysnake says:


    My solution :

    Buy one at a knockdown price. Keep it in the box with all papers until yours dies. Open . Enjoy.

    (If you’re a cheap bastard like me , you can go trolling thrift stores and pick up the things dirt (and I mean dirt) cheap whe n the movies start disappearing…

  29. overbysara says:

    so… this might sound dumb but… can you play regular ol’ dvds on a blu-ray player? I’m assuming no. in which case I’ll be with the dvd party for another 10 years.

  30. Custom Reality says:

    So, you buy HD DVDs on the cheap, and then buy a dual-format HD DVD player for when/IF Blu-Ray ever completely takes over.

  31. crescentia says:
  32. Bizdady says:


    Yes, a Blu-Ray player will play and upconvert DVD as well.

  33. therealhomerjaysimpson says:

    OK, so Wal-Mart decided to discontinue a category. So what? Should they still be carrying vinyl records for all the people who once bought record players there? Stocking all new releases in VHS for all of those people who once lined up to get $29.99 VCRs?

  34. Superborty says:

    This is only good news for consumers as WalMart is such a powerful retailer that this silly HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war should soon be over. Blu-Ray was clearly the better format (outside of Sony being involved).

  35. CPC24 says:

    @DeadlySinz: Paperweight? They’ll still work. In fact, unlike Beta, the media will never wear out.

    In case you’re wondering, yes, I invested in HD DVD. I wouldn’t consider $99 a huge waste of money, however. I’ve spent more on dinner at a fancy restaurant.

  36. Buran says:

    @Meg Marco: So, in that case, why is there a separate post or the other one not copied? Seems weird to me.

  37. Buran says:

    @therealhomerjaysimpson: It’s news because some of us are tracking every blow to HD-DVD because we’re looking forward to the day when the format war is actually 100% over and all HD movies will be on a single format… at least that’s why I care. I don’t care WHICH format won, I just wanted one to win. I bought the PS3 a week ago but if it’d gone the other way I would have gotten an HD-DVD player (NOT an Xbox as I know how unreliable those are).

  38. RvLeshrac says:

    Of course, the losers here aren’t the people who bought HD-DVD players – they’ll continue to get some more HDDVD releases, and at worst they have an upconverting DVD player. The losers are still the people who bought Blu-Ray players – they’ll continue to get Blu-Ray releases, except that some of them won’t actually work, and if their player has an exploit of some sort (the ability to disable region-locking, for example) they suddenly won’t be able to play *ANY* new Blu-Ray releases until they buy yet-another-ridculously-expensive player.

  39. Nerv2020 says:

    The good news is you can get a HDA3 model player for around $125, and it comes with 5 free HD-DVDs. The fact that it’s getting bricked is irrelevant, you can now get very cheap upconverting DVD players with free movies.

  40. Buran says:

    @PotKettleBlack: That is why I bought when I did. I didn’t want to wait til the very end and you could get the players for $50 — I just waited until it was clear who the winner was going to be. Sure, I spent $400 for a PS3 that will only be used for Blu-Ray disks (which is the same price you’d spend for a standalone – I just wanted an upgradeable player), not $50, but by doing so I can start buying disks and my purchase of the player, remote, and disks will help speed adoption along. It’ll be as cheap as standard DVD within a few years.

  41. Buran says:

    @Nerv2020: You can but if you have a TV that is good enough to show the difference (not all are) upconverting is still nowhere near as good as true HD.

  42. Buran says:

    @RvLeshrac: … the losers are the people who bought players for the winning format? Huh? If the player needs a major update, or stops being able to play movies, that’s what firmware updates are for, although there’s a reason the easily-upgradeable (including profiles) PS3 is the most-recommended player.

  43. Buran says:

    @homerjay: Why is someone suddenly a loser when they buy a cell phone and the price drops? That happens with all cell phones! The Razr was originally $500. Now you can get one free with contract, or several for family plan contracts. It’s like it’s raining Razrs. Are the original adopters of the Razr losers, then?

  44. ecwis says:

    @Buran: Yes, yes they are.

  45. ShadowFalls says:

    Wow, Bluray exclusive? Last time I was there their entire HD section with both types was on one small rack facing out of the aisle… Perhaps 50 movies at most.

  46. homerjay says:

    @Buran: You stood in a long like to buy an iPhone, didn’t you?

  47. Tyr_Anasazi says:

    You’re not screwed if you have HD-DVD–you just won’t be able to get any more. Hell, I’m thinking about getting one now…

  48. unklegwar says:

    Too bad I still have and old fashioned tube TV. What ever am I gonna do?

    Oh I know. Read. DO things.

    And yeah, homerjay, anyone who has to be “that guy” who has to go out and get the new doodad on day one, and pays the day one premium, is kinda a loser. That kind of priority is a loser priority. If you buy something on day 1 and the price goes down on day 10, tough nuggets. Apple shoulda never accomodated them with gift cards. It was way above and beyond on apple’s part.

  49. TPIRman says:

    That four-comment-in-a-row blitz has got to be a new record, even for Buran. If only they’d come a little closer to the 9:44 double-post. Sextuple-post, now that would have been something.

  50. Buran says:

    @homerjay: Uh. No I didn’t. I’ve only had it for less than a month. Where the hell did that come from?

  51. Buran says:

    @TPIRman: Get the nested comment Greasemonkey script and it all becomes clear.

  52. homerjay says:

    @Buran: Because you seemed a little too defensive of people who stand in a long line and pay top dollar to get an iPhone that will magically somehow makes their teeth whiter and make them more attractive to the opposite sex all the while knowing that the chances of that product being bother overpriced and half-baked are incredibly high– thats all.

  53. f3rg says:

    No pity for anyone foolish enough to buy a player before the format wars were over.

  54. DeadlySinz says:

    Format wars ARE Over, Toshiba is pulling out. HD DVD is dead


  55. Buran says:

    @homerjay: Uhm… no. I don’t understand where that is coming from either. I defend people who buy cell phones as not stupid because the phones will get cheaper in the future. I don’t know why people have a problem with this because ANY technology gets cheaper in the future. Why do iphone buyers get so much hate directed toward them? Why isn’t there intense hate for car buyers, for instance? Blu-Ray users? Computer buyers? The list of stuff that gets cheaper over time is endless, because just about everything does. I don’t think it’s fair to level vitriol at iphone users as stupid or anything of the sort. You’d have to level it at yourself as well since I’m sure you’ve bought something in your life that is now cheaper than it was when you bought it, or is now obsolete.

  56. Benjo says:

    @Whitey Fisk: Yeah, this is obviously a pre-Christmas ad, which was long before the format war ended. It’s certainly ironic, but it’s not like they were trying to trick consumers.

  57. deadlizard says:

    Look honey! I got you an HD DVD for Christmas! Let me take you a Polaroid picture with it. (Suckers.)

  58. Chigaimasmaro says:

    I pity the early those that swooped and picked up HD-DVD players and discs. I figured either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD was gonna leave the scene just like the betamax tapes and laserdiscs did in the past. Well, maybe the LaserDisc and HD-DVD people can get together to create a support group :)

  59. RvLeshrac says:


    Firmware updates will not get a player recertified. You can’t firmware-update in more flash or a HDD for data storage… you can’t firmware-update in an ethernet jack, either.

    Firmware updates also won’t help the numerous players that do not have the processing power to handle newer versions of the scripting engine.