August 21, 2007 at 3:09 am #360robParticipant
So, apparently today Microsoft decided to pay Paramount and Dreamworks an undisclosed amount of money for them both to become HD-DVD exclusive. That will include Transformers and Shrek 3. Interesting.
Mere hours later, Fox and MGM announce their fall release catalog, which includes all of the Die Hard movies and a few other select titles.
I think that as I am now format-neutral, I can comment on this with some much needed sense. Blu-Ray has continued to outsell HD-DVD 2 to 1 this year. Now, you could say, well, if everyone waits to buy a combo player this Christmas, what’s the problem? And the videogame industry enjoys growth without there only being one format, right?
The problem is, and this is what the movie industry needs to understand, is that the reason DVD was so profitable was because Joe Schmoe bought into it. It was easy to set up, and there was no thought involved. If there are two formats, with some movies only being available on one format or the other, it’s confusing to Joe, and Joe will say, “Well, fuck it, man. They don’t know what they’re doin’, so I guess I’ll just wait.” So if HD movies on either format only enjoy success with the techies…
And you could argue that videogames are still considered to be somewhat of a niche market. Hopefully, the kids that have been smart enough to get Papa Schmoe involved with videogames will get him involved in HD stuff, too.
Now Microsoft has really played this great, even if I don’t agree with it. Dreamworks has Shrek, and they’ll play that card as the “family friendly HD choice”. They’ve waited until Xbox Live has gotten some pretty good penetration in the market, and now they’ll be pushing HD movie downloads, and at the same time, subsidizing the movie studios they can convince to be HD-DVD exclusive to pretty much ensure that the format war continues, hopefully, to Microsoft, leading to a stalemate so that both formats die, leaving Microsoft with a ready-made alternative.
So basically, even though I now own both formats, I’m still rooting for Blu-Ray, because it seems to be a more responsive, less clunky experience. Now, if Microsoft can convince Warner to be HD-DVD exclusive, we’ll really have a race — the two formats will have an equal footing.
(One of the reasons the Paramount dude said they were going to be HD only — that it’s cheaper to produce the discs. Really, dickhead? Is that why I pay the same or less for a Blu-Ray title? HD-DVD/DVD combo discs are usually $5 more, dingleberry. Just tell the truth — Microsoft paid me.).August 21, 2007 at 3:23 am #5372robParticipant
Sorry, a bit more —
5 out of the top-ten grossing movies so far this year are Blu-Ray exclusive. 3 are (now) HD-DVD exclusive. Two are format neutral. Interesting.
Also, Paramount, on the last line of their press release, states that their exclusivity on HD-DVD does NOT include Spielberg movies. In fact, his first movie released in high definition will be released on Blu-Ray, Close Encounters. That also means that the Indiana Jones movies, if they ever come to HD, will be on both.August 21, 2007 at 5:07 am #5373digitaltopiaParticipant
I’m rooting for Blu-Ray too.August 21, 2007 at 10:07 pm #5374El RustirinoParticipant
I’m rooting for people to just fucking pick one so we don’t have to spend 1500-2000 dollars to get the movies that we want.
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