Wal-Mart on Blu-ray bandwagon

Retailer will only sell Sony's hi-def movie discs, phasing out Toshiba's HD-DVD discs in its 4,000 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores this year.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- National discount retailer Wal-Mart announced Friday that it had decided to only sell Sony's Blu-ray hi-definition movie discs, and will phase out Toshiba's competing HD-DVD formatted discs over the next several months.

Wal-Mart said that by June, its 4,000 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores would sell only Blu-ray discs and Blu-ray hardware players. Blu-ray and Toshiba's HD-DVD format are not compatible.

"We've listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases," said Gary Severson, Wal-Mart's Senior Vice President of Home Entertainment in a statement.

Wal-Mart said it would continue selling HD-DVD products, but over the next 30 days, customers will see a significant shift in emphasis to Blu-ray in both brick-and-mortar stores and online. The retailer said it will continue to sell DVDs and standard-definition hardware.

Wal-Mart is the latest movie vendor to choose Blu-ray over HD-DVD. Earlier this week, online movie rental company Netflix (NFLX) announced its support for Blu-ray, and said it would phase out HD-DVD as well. Video publishers Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500), Sony's Sony Pictures, News Corp.'s (NWS, Fortune 500) Twentieth Century Fox, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have all endorsed Blu-ray.

In a rivalry that mirrors the Betamax-VHS dispute of the 1970s, Sony (SNE) and Toshiba have been battling each other to define the industry's hi-definition video standard. The winner will see a boost in the sale of hardware needed to play the hi-definition discs. To top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.