<i>Variety</i> Reports Adult Biz Leaning Toward HD DVD

A Jan. 29 story in entertainment-industry trade journal Variety reported on the porn industry's entry into the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray format war.

Stating that "the [adult] industry's hi-def choices are being closely watched for clues to the format war's resolution," the article acknowledged HD DVD's current lead over Blu-ray as the more feasible delivery platform for high-definition porn. Digital Playground's Joone, Wicked Pictures' VP of DVD production Jackie Ramos and Steven Hirsch of Vivid Entertainment spoke to Variety about the difficulties adult producers have encountered in seeking Blu-ray replication facilities to handle adult content.

"If either side wants to win, they really need to come forward," Ramos said. "They don't need to embrace adult, but they at least need to work with us." 

Evil Angel's Karen Stagliano told Variety that the company plans to wait "at least four or five months" before releasing product in hi-def, with Fashionistas Safado: The Challenge likely to be the company's flagship HD title. "We're looking for someone who is paying full licensing for HD or Blu-ray, and that's not that easy to find right now," said Stagliano. "Some companies might not have the full blessing of the people who have the license."

Though the story identified Wicked Pictures' Camp Cuddly Pines Powertool Massacre as "the first and only hi-def disc released so far," several adult videos have been released in other HD formats, including Digital Playground's Island Fever 3 and the entire library from High Def XXX. Camp Cuddly Pines' distinction is that it's the first released in one of the two formats mentioned above.

The only exception is Vivid Entertainment Group's forthcoming Debbie Does Dallas … Again, slated for simultaneous release on HD DVD, Blu-ray and standard def DVD on March 27.

Variety estimated adult DVD sales at $3.6 billion in 2006, with mainstream DVD sales generating $23.6 billion. Pioneer senior VP Andy Parsons of the Blu-ray Disc Association disputed claims that the porn industry plays a make-or-break role in establishing new video formats.

"Mainstream content is what drives the market, and that comes from studios," Parsons said. "Adult content should be appreciated for what it is, but it is not mainstream and it will not drive the market."

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