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Microsoft respond to Bay's conspiracy

MichaelBay.jpgMicrosoft have responded to Michael Bay's comments about the format war and how he believes they are secretly paying companies to go HD-DVD in order to kill off the format after destroying Blu-ray.

Mind you their comments are far from killing the conspiracy idea.

Microsoft's head of Gaming and Entertainment UK told GamesIndustry through Eurogamer:

“I didn't read his comments, although I heard about them, but hey, he's allowed his personal thoughts - I think he clarified some of those thoughts about 24 hours later - but for us we're focused on HD-DVD movies working with great partners, and we wouldn't have that offer for five free movies if we didn't believe in that format...

...But we also believe in downloadable content, whether it's music, or movies - it's not about one solution, because one solution isn't going to work for everybody.”

Fair enough, but it would seem that you are so focused on HD-DVD that you won't install it on your Xbox 360 Elite, preferring to keep it as an add-on accessory, that my friend is called hedging your bets.

Here's what Michael Bay had initially said on his forums:

"What you don't understand is corporate politics. Microsoft wants both formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads. That is the dirty secret no one is talking about. That is why Microsoft is handing out $100 million dollar checks to studios just embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu Ray. They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth."

He certainly didn't change what he has said later on, he went onto defend his film choice and how it looks, and would look, on high definition DVD.

Well I don't know which way this will all play out, but I do know which format I, and Michael Bay, prefer.

Looking back at the VHS and Betamax war this might not be as clear cut. We could see a winner and then see it squashed by one of the largest marketing companies there is, and a new download model appear – a model that a tiny percent of the audience can take advantage of as yet.



Back when HD-DVD and Bluray first appeared on the scene, the comments at avsforum seemed to favor the picture quality of HD-DVD over that of Bluray. Have I missed something along the way, or has Bluray improved? Or, were those early reports inaccurate? I haven't seen anything but Bluray and that was only for a few minutes on a ridiculous store demo setup so I have no clue which might have better quality.

I'm seeing lots that say Blu-ray is better than HD-DVD, but like the XBox versus the Playstation it's all fanboy stuff.

You get the marketing teams on each camp and then those who love each product and hate the other. There are seldom discerning voices between the two, and that's something I loathe.

I've made my personal choice, as has Michael Bay, and the information on his forum is showing some positive swing for Blu-ray, but then it depends who you listen to more.

I remember with the 360 ever game was touted as the "genre defining", "best in the series" and "playstation beater" - yes these were the first games out and the magazine was the official XBox magazine. I unsubscribed because I got bored of the hype.

There's a big degree of the same thing here, but have a look at the posting on his site and work your way through some of the quoted and captured graphs and stats.

I haven't seen either 'yet' .. I would like some geeks that simply seek perfection to comment, rather than the fans of either side. Alas, it's hard to tell one even if you meet one. + I wonder if it's subjective too.

Maybe a dark looking film like Batman Begins looks better on one format rather than the other & a colourful vivid film like Finding Nemo is the exact opposite. + then there are the parameters of what TV you are using ...

An LCD with 1080i capability with vivid colour looks better through A format rather than B format ... It's all so tiresome.

Bay seems pretty dim. First he lashed Paramount for choosing HD-DVD, then retracted his statement, then came out again with a ludicrous rant about Microsoft trying to kill HD-DVD.

Why would Microsoft try to "kill" a format which they have huge money invested in?

Personally I'd choose HD-DVD. At the moment I'm here in Florida and every electronics store I go into have a HD and BluRay demo set up. Side-by-side was Bay's Transformers on HD against Spider-Man 3 on BluRay. The picture quality looked just that little bit more crisp on HD than BluRay. Also a factor for me is region-encoding. At home in Dublin, I saw Transformers on HD-DVD for €49.99, whereas here in the US I could pick it up for just $29.99 (~€20) - a pretty massive saving I'm sure you'd agree.

Two major things that also bugged me about playing around with the BluRay device was that:

1.) No resume function - one I selected to see a "behind-the-scenes feature", it left me back at the main menu as opposed to resuming play where I left off.

2.) The loading times are shockingly bad!

Not to mention the fact that BluRay isn't completely "standardised" yet, leaving early adopters (v.1.0) unable to avail of newer releases (v.1.1 or the announced 2.0)

Sony have a history of introducing new formats (mini disc, UMD) which have both failed miserably. I wouldn't like to bet on adding another to that list.

Blu-ray isn't Sony's, it's a large group of different companies and Sony is one of those group. They're really at the front because they've got the first big players out there.

I loved MiniDisc by the way! Thought it was a great format.

The two points you bring up about the disc you viewed I've never seen on the blu-ray's I've played. Loading times are fast, and resumes work fine.

I think you've got to realise that things differ, like all formats and even HD-DVD, from disc to disc. Make a poor disc and the disc is poor, simple as that.

It's the same deal comparing set-ups side by side, and here's where I'm going to start showing off how picky I am (I was going to use another word that's like canal with the c dropped!).

I took my PS3 into the store and plugged it directly into the TV's I was interested in and compared that way. In store is really difficult as you are watching a signal that is more than likely fed through a loop to a number of televisions, even in specialist stores.

As was said in a previous post there are many, many factors involved in watching a poor signal on screen - TV, cabling, source hardware, source software, physical source format, source encoding, etc, etc.

Price on region encoding? Covered that one before too. If you shop around you can find UK titles for the same as, or a few pounds more, than the US titles, it's not difficult.

Finally, on the standard issue, is HD-DVD any more standardised? It matters little because the software is built on a standard, open platform and you should by a player that is upgradable. Simple software updates have been improving and adding features on mine.

Oh remember the days of buying the first generation of DVD player and having to hard upgrade if you wanted the features of the next!


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