My room walls keep swelling up in the past year. You see, my brother is somewhat of a film buff, and he likes his DVDs and other format movies. After buying hundreds of them, the shelf space (though extended on multiple occasions) just won't do. What me assured me some time ago was that he wasn't gonna make the high def plunge until a standard has won and is already established. That promise didn't go well, because we bought a PS3 together, and he became a Blu-ray follower.
That same brother was unnerved the other day when Paramount and Dreamworks announced they won't publish Blu-Ray discs anymore, courtesy of a Microsoft pay-off
. Now the format wars
(cue in Star Wars music) have been raging for a while now, and I normally expect every publishing company to walk around a bit (except, obviously, Sony controlled studios). What struck me as terribly odd, however, is the fact that Microsoft directly paid to have HD-DVD movies. Now any person who thinks further than a cigarette throw away can tell you that, aside from assuring that very popular movies (Transformers, Shrek 3 to name just two) arrive and move some HD-DVD players, they may have lobbied Paramount and DW to offer the movies on Xbox Live, too.
What bothers me most though is that Microsoft never showed any action (until now that is) to directly choose sides in the format war. Sure, they released a HD-DVD addon player, but they also repeated approximately 359275920375023 times that they'd release a Blu-ray player too if it proves to be the more popular option.
Anyhow, my thesis is this: Microsoft has chosen the HDDVD side, and paid Paramount and Dreamworks so they can ensure the push of new bundles which will have built in HDDVDs, the new processors, and larger hard drives (larger than any of the PS3 hard drives, I presume). The rumored XviD support in the fall update of Xbox 360
, IPTV capabilities and the aforementioned Xbox Live movie download service can only point to one. Microsoft can advertise the following:
"We have the ultimate home media center. It supports HD-DVD playback, DVD upscaling, XviD (probably Divx too, I guess), we have IPTV, we have downloadable movies and series."
It makes sense in an eerie sort of way. This way, also, Sony's strategy of portraying the PS3 as a multimedia hub would be destroyed.
Well so much from me. We'll see how it pans out.