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Amazon, Universal to Support Blu-ray Format

Amazon.com announced its support for Sony's Blu-ray format on Wednesday, days after Toshiba pulled the plug on the rival HD DVD format, as key studios and retailers also took Blu-ray's side.

The online retailer said it would continue to sell HD DVD products for customers who already use that format.

The Amazon move comes after General Electric's Universal Pictures, one of a few studios using the Toshiba-backed HD DVD format, said on Tuesday it will switch to the rival Blu-ray format now that Toshiba has officially pulled the plug on HD DVD.

Officials from other HD DVD backers, such as Viacom's Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation had no immediate comment.

"The path for widespread adoption of the next-generation platform has finally become clear," Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms, said in a statement.

"The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate. While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalog titles on Blu-ray," he said.

Universal Pictures had no further comment.

[cob:Related_Articles]Toshiba finally threw in the towel on Tuesday after losing support of key studios and retailers to the Blu-ray technology backed by Sony. Both sides had aimed to set the standard for the next generation of discs, but the fight had only confused shoppers.

A key turning point in the war came last month when Time Warner's Warner Bros., which had backed both formats, decided to support Blu-ray exclusively.

Since then, big U.S. retailers also aligned with Blu-ray, including Wal-Mart Stores, Best Buy and online video-rental company Netflix.