Let's Get One Thing Straight

When it comes to the format wars, Blu-Ray is pulling ahead in movie sales thanks in no small part to the PS3's ability to play Blu-Ray movies straight out of the box. However, it's also largely due to the fact that Sony controls a ton of media and is keeping everything under the Sony Entertainment umbrella off of the HD-DVD format. Go to the store and see how many movies are available on HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray. I assure you there are more for Blu-Ray. Which makes sense. And while it may be true that Microsoft did release a standalone HD-DVD player that hooks up to the X360, Microsoft doesn't make the HD-DVD format, they're not trying to win with HD-DVD, and truth be told I don't think they really care one way or the other.

I bring this up because there is a lot of Intrnet blather going on about Microsoft "conceding defeat" and lowering the price of their HD-DVD unit and even saying that they would consider offering a Blu-Ray "solution" in the future.

Why wouldn't they? Again, it's not like Microsoft makes the HD-DVD players/discs/technology.

If anything, when it comes to Sony and Microsoft betting on a technology, Sony chose Blu-Ray and if you want to be specific, Microsoft chose DVD. Not HD-DVD. Which actually seems to make sense for a number of reasons. First, it is the format that is cheaper and what nearly everyone is currently satisfied with. Secondly, increasing disc space does not guarantee better games. If games the size of Oblivion or with the graphics of Gears of War can all fit on a single DVD, then there really is no reason for more space. Lastly, Microsoft doesn't care about the format wars because it's already moved into video-on-demand with their Video Marketplace being second only to iTunes in television/movie downloads and currently the only place to watch HD movies online.

Yes, that's right, Microsoft didn't choose Blu-Ray nor did they choose HD-DVD, yet X360 owners can still watch HD movies on their system.

What's cheaper -- a $600 PS3 + $30 to buy a Blu-Ray movie or a $400 X360 + $5 to download the HD version of that same movie?

Anyway, my point was that people seem to think that Microsoft is behind the push for the HD-DVD format. They're not. They did offer an external HD-DVD player, but it was terrifically downplayed and never given any marketing push whatsoever. It was doomed to fail, but also designed to quiet the demand while Video Marketplace got a larger library of content.

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