Microsoft's motives questionable?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Shawn Perron, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/p...eliveryPR.mspx


    6 dollar 720p movie rentals and many popular shows in 720p. Microsoft announces this mere days before the HD-DVD add on is released. Seems like they are sabotaging thier own product launch. Has Microsoft launched it's first salvo against HD on disc?
     
  2. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    0

    How do you figure. Two entirely different market places. The goal of movie and TV downloads utilizing the XBOX 360 (with MS Media Center Extentions) has been a long term goal from MS. I believe they have seen how fast the download segment of MS-Live has grown over the last year and want to capitalize on it prior to Sony getting a foot-hold in this market. BTW, Sony has major investments in the same functionality for the PS3 which should be available from Sony sometime after the first of the year.
     
  3. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see this more of an option for the mainstream "mp3" crowd, which could in the end come and bite us videophiles who want high quality. I can't imagine them offering full quality HD-DVD movies at several ten gigabytes a piece at this point.
     
  4. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    0

    I never got the impression Microsoft was really pushing for the utmost quality. If pressed they'd probably give you some song and dance about how VC1 and DD 5.1 can be super compressed and still deliver reasonable quality.
     
  5. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    One major difference in markets is that the movies you can download via Xbox 360 Marketplace are 24-hour rentals. HD-DVD on the other hand is marketed to people who want to OWN the movie. Yes, you can rent them, but that's not the target market.
     
  6. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    What your source for that info? I am pretty sure the target is videophiles right now, not collectors. Eventually the target will be everyone who wants to watch a movie, and if people are willing to settle for low quality picture like they are settling for mp3's (a lot of difference I have to say) then it might hurt us videophiles. The rate which HD-DVD and BR movies are coming out is pretty good though and HD broadcast isn't going anywhere so I am not worried.
     
  7. Brent T

    Brent T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think this is great news. Microsoft has a plan and that plan is to make the 360 a part of your HT and not just a gaming rig.
     
  8. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    0

    If you are talking about the online downloads, the market is not the Videophile, it is the gamer, who have, over the last year, shown a very high level of downloading with the 360. Internet movies (downloads) are short term rentals and the market is directed more at the netflix crowd, and to ensure MS is in a position to compete with Sony when they turn on their download features of their on-line service.

    If you are talking about the HD-DVD market, of course it is currently the collectors, who are, as a rule of thumb, videophiles. The studios count on this.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is just a volley fired directly at Apple. They hope that 360 owners will buy a Zune.
     
  10. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    1

    [Opinion piece follows]

    It looks that way on the surface, but IMO it's something much larger.

    Microsoft knows that as an OS company it's future is doomed to mediocrity, it's product is a commodity with little growth potential and only profit spurts every X years(4?). There's really not much more they can do with Office, compiler sales have a limited market, and they're having an increasingly difficult time justifying new OS's short of supporting new hardware.

    MS needs revenue streams, consistent ongoing revenue streams. To that end their plan is two-fold.

    1. Gaming. Lots of money is spent on gaming, especially online gaming and it appears with micro-transactions. Thus, the X-box 360 Live and Vista's push for gaming. They want to be at the forefront, to make money on A+++ titles, and to make money from other people's work through micro-transactions. A guaranteed inflow of money.

    2. VOD. The cable companies have gotten greedy, and their product is generally rather forcefed. You either buy package X with Y number of things you'll never use, or you go without. MS knows that the bandwidth from the internet is approaching the point where it's possible to transmit VOD over the internet, and they want to be the provider. Thus, they introduce the X-box 360's ability in order to start getting people used to MS as the provider, especially the younger crowd who's more comfortable with digital downloads. MS knows it can replace both the rental market and the cable market, generating loads of money with little effort.

    MS knows the computing and console markets are changing, MS knows that the curve for personal computing power has neared the point where there's not much point in purchasing new hardware. As it stands today, any given computer in the last 5 years is quite capable of handling all non-gaming tasks efficiently without a need to upgrade. Even Valve(Makers of Half-Life 2) admit that the GPU is starting to wind down in it's ability to provide "Must have" features.

    As such, MS knows that the time is quickly approaching to when computers have become household commodities like furnaces and refrigerators. MS also knows that there's a fast approaching end-point to what can be crammed into a Console package. Heat disipation alone is a problem.

    So, MS is banking on the idea of multi-core "Servers" in upscale homes providing wireless networking to various displays around the house for gaming and general use, including TV. Intel and AMD are more than happy to provide those systems. MS will be happy to provide "X-box XXX's" as the downscale home solution with similiar functionality but without the wireless, whole house, ability. One or two boxes for a couple hundred dollars serving one or two displays capable of computing, gaming, and TV services.

    The only roadblock to the whole thing is Playstation, which has the ability to compete as a Media center. It has the same power, and the same ability as the X-box 360, and can offer the same media services. If the Playstation wins the livingroom, Sony will win the VOD over the Internet. So MS had to find a way to eliminate them. Which they did. Force Sony to release early by throwing money at a new console until you get something reasonably functional, support the competing standard for HD-on-disc to eliminate the feature that drove sales for PS2 as people justified it's cost. Sony conviently helped by using an "Alien" processor that no one knew how to develop for, making supporting the PS3 a difficult and time/money consuming choice for developers.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. This console war, this format war, this VOD has absolutely nothing to do with today. It is all about the future of media and gaming, and who's going to be the "Portal" for it, reaping a great deal more money. Sony's fighting for a bigger piece of the pie, but MS OTOH is fighting for their future. If MS can't take at least one if not both gaming and VOD, they're doomed to being a commodity with a low stock price and no growth.
     
  11. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    More information on MS 360 Hi-Def download strategy.
     
  12. Josh Simpson

    Josh Simpson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    926
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't find this motive as questionable as Best Buy is doing with their Blu Ray players. I was in there the other day and there was an employee dealing with two customers who were asking about HD-DVD. He basically ignored that and started telling them how much better blu ray was. He was stating some stuff that I knew was innaccurate, and I told the two customers and the employee to their faces that he was wrong and that he was "lying" to them. He just kept going on and on about how HD-DVD was good, but didn't have nearly the resolution that Blu-Ray had. I probably shouldn't have blurted out, and I'm sure it was obnoxious, but I couldn't take it. Does Best Buy get a bigger cut from Sony or something or was this guy an idiot?

    I'm sorry about this rant. I think I may have derailed this thread, but I didn't mean to.
     
  13. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nope...I've witnessed that first-hand as well on multiple occasions from Best Buy sales reps. Quite frankly, I find it offensive and wrong, but it's clear from reading this (and other) forums that some "word from on high" is telling them to do this. It's ridiculous, to say the least. Although I own an HD DVD player, I personally have nothing against Blu-Ray, per se. Why can't they both be represented equally at one of America's most prominent retail chains? I don't get it, quite frankly.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,620
    Likes Received:
    3,796
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    Best Buy can barely train their alot of (but not all of) employees how to run a register or how to look up if they have a DVD in the store or to even put DVDs in alphabetical order but you think they want to orchestrate a conspiracy against a product that doesn't even sell enough to be considered a drop in the bucket? I have no doubt that reports of employees talking up Blu-Ray are true but it's all because of the buzz around the PS3 or an employee listening to a fellow employee who is a PS3 fanboy and just repeating what they hear.
     
  15. jervis961

    jervis961 Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe I read somewhere a while back that the HD-DVD players are sold at a loss and therefore are not money makers for the retail stores. Meanwhile BluRay is profitable for the store when they sell the player and the movies.
     
  16. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,469
    Likes Received:
    3
    The assertion was that the HD-DVD manufacturers were taking a loss on the units. The stores are certainly not selling these at a loss. Both HD-DVD and BD are profitable for the stores.
     
  17. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2000
    Messages:
    5,969
    Likes Received:
    282
    It's all about the money. If BB sales staff are paid on commission then they will make more money on the sale of a BD player, since BD players are higher priced than HD DVD. The sales staff don't give a s*^# about the format war and neither does Best Buy.
     
  18. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,668
    Likes Received:
    4
    They are not paid on commission.
    I think there can be little "perks" or something of that nature maybe though...
     
  19. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    0
    I heard they get kickbacks on extended service contracts, but I have no idea whether or not that's true.
     

Share This Page