Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation have both announced today that they will exclusively support the HD DVD next-gen format on a worldwide basis.

The exclusive HD DVD commitment will include all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment.

The companies each said that the decision to distribute exclusively in the HD DVD format resulted from an extensive evaluation of current market offerings, which confirmed the benefits of HD DVD, particularly its market-ready technology and lower manufacturing costs.

Paramount Home Entertainment will launch its exclusive HD DVD-only programme with the release of the comedy hit "Blades of Glory" on August 28th and follow with two of the biggest grossing movies of the year "Transformers" and "Shrek the Third".

These three titles alone represent more than $1.5 billion in box office ticket sales worldwide.

"We decided to release 'Shrek the Third' and other DreamWorks Animation titles exclusively on HD DVD because we believe it is the best format to bring high quality home entertainment to a key segment of our audience - families", stated DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg.

"We believe the combination of this year's low-priced HD DVD players and the commitment to release a significant number of hit titles in the fall makes HD DVD the best way to view movies at home."

This will be a blow to the Blu-ray camp, who previously enjoyed a 90% majority of movie studio backing, although recent figures have shown that Blu-ray discs outselling HD DVD two to one, so the Toshiba-led group have some catching up to do.