Monday, January 21, 2008

HD-DVD - Too Little, Too Late

Toshiba HD DVD playerSo today, Toshiba announced that it was cutting the price of its players even further. The players will start for $149.99 and work its way up to $300. Throw in the fact that you can get 10 free movies with a purchase, and you are looking at a fairly good deal.

That being said, the HD-DVD camp is a little late to the game. With the defection of Warner Brothers from the HD-DVD fold, there isn't much that the HD-DVD camp can do to actually save their format. You see, content is king. People won't buy a player because it is cool new technology and it is cheap. They want to be able to play their favorite movies. I always believed that the first player to $100 was going to win, but that was before all the content got taken away from one of the formats.

In the end, I still think this race is a big yawn. I write about it only because I'm oddly curious about the battle going on from a geek's perspective.

By the way, what type of lame ass reporting do they have over at Crave? In one of their articles, they suggested that Microsoft might want to look into buying a movie studio. For what possible reason would Microsoft do this? Seriously, it may be the lamest idea I have ever heard and quite frankly it is a little bit of irresponsible journalism. First, Microsoft is not in the movie making business. It is in a lot of businesses, but none of them are even close to actually producing a movie. Second, HD-DVD is a very very small part of what Microsoft does. There is no way that Microsoft, no matter how much cash it has, would make such a ludicrous transaction. As a shareholder, I would instantly sell my remaining shares if it ever happened.

I guess any old person can post whatever they want, no credentials required. Then again, I guess I do the same thing :)


  1. While improbable, it isn't as unfathomable as you make it seem. Microsoft has an Entertainment division. They already produce several video games and there's talk of making a Halo movie. GE is an example of what was originally an engineering company that moved into entertainment.

    HD-DVD would never be the reason Microsoft bought a studio. It would only be if a studio was strategic to pushing the XBox and Zune platforms. As you said content is king, so if you can't buy/license it, build your own....

  2. you have a valid point. I still don't believe Microsoft would buy a studio the size of Warner or Universal. It really wouldn't be core to their business and would honestly be a waste of capital.

  3. I can see Microsoft being involved with a movie in some capacity (like, say, licensing the Halo name to a studio) for a couple of projects and then deciding to open or buy a small studio. But, I don't think they're just going to dive in right away, they seem smarter than that.
    For example, Marvel Comics has an entertainment division and was doing exactly that for about the last ten years; they own their properties, but they worked with a studio to finance/produce/distribute movies. This May, however, they are going to be releasing Iron Man, which is the first movie they've fully financed and have had complete control over. A company as big as Microsoft would probably do the same thing that Marvel did; partner with someone to test the waters and learn the ropes, and then, once they're comfortable, make a big move.
    Marvel might be a stock to look into by the way, if you can get it at a low point and hold onto it until after Iron Man is released, you might be able to flip it for some cash money. Most of those summer Super Hero action movies do very well, and since this is the first movie Marvel has self-financed, it will also be the first time that they'll be in line to receive 100% of the monetary rewards if it is a success (also the tie-ins as well, games, toys, etc.). And judging from the trailers, I think it's going to be a monster, especially with that writer's strike. Four months from now, I don't think there's going to be a surplus of good movies in theaters, so Iron Man could be set up to make a whole lot of money. Even though that last Spider-man movie was pretty terrible, it still raked in dough. Transformers was also huge too. If it can do anywhere near what those two movies did, I think the stock is going to skyrocket because Marvel will get all of the loot. Just a suggestion.