The Weekend Gamer
Thoughts on gaming culture, living among non-gamers, and growing up in the nintendo generation

Michael Bay Won’t Do Tranformers 2 Because of Blu-ray


[EDIT]:  There is now a rumor circulating that HD-DVD paid somewhere around 150 million dollars to get the exclusivity deal with Paramount and Dreamworks in order to boost their sagging sales.  This hasn’t been officially confirmed, but many are commenting on it, and it doesn’t seem too far fetched. 


Things in the format wars just got crazy.  For anyone who’s not tech-savy, here’s the scoop: there are currently two standards of high definition disc that are fighting for dominance–HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.  The war is akin to the great VHS-Betamax struggle of the 80’s.  The long and the short of it all is, no one’s sure which side will win, and ultimately if you buy from the eventual loser (if there is an eventual loser), you’ll have pretty much wasted your money.   If there isn’t a loser, than we’ll all be stuck with two totally incompatable formats, which will be a huge inconvienence.

 Blu-ray was looking like it was going to come out on top–Blockbuster recently announced it would only stock Blu-ray discs for rentals, and Blu-ray has been outselling HD-DVD by a margin of 2:1 or greater.  The recent release of the movie 300 only accentuated the point, as the Blu-ray version greatly outsold the HD-DVD release of the film.  All the signs were there for a Blu-ray win except…

Paramount just announced they will no longer use Blu-ray in the release of their films, moving exclusively to HD-DVD.  They were previously releasing their movies on both formats.  Now, by no means does this mean that Blu-ray is sunk, but it’s a big boost to HD-DVD. 

The announcement from Paramount has upset more than a few people, one of whom is Michael Bay, the director of Paramount’s latest summer blockbuster Transformers.  In a message board post he made late last night on his own website, the director said that he would no longer even consider doing Transformers 2 because of Paramount’s descision.  Here’s the relevant quote:

I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For them to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks! They were progressive by having two formats. No Transformers 2 for me!

I personally find it incredibly interesting that a director would refuse to do a movie based on the format it will be released on.  It just goes to show how deeply the lines are sometimes drawn for people in this industry. 

This post is vaugely related to gaming because of the obvious association each format has with Sony and Microsoft–the 360 has a peripheral you can buy that plays HD-DVD, while the boost Blu-ray has recieved from the PS3 having a  B-R player come as standard can not be overstated.

Who do I think will win?  Neither.  We’re still a few years away from this, but eventually, hard formats will be done away with almost entirely.  Certainly they’ll become obsolete except in someone’s old home video collection.  No, the wave of the future is digital downloading–and it has already started, through applications like Steam for video games, and HD movies from Xbox live and the Playstation network.  Within the next 10 to 15 years, most Americans will turn on the TV and download their favorite movies directly from the internet to their entertainment system.  Having a disc will be “so 2000’s”.  😉 

What do you think about this story?  Who will win the format war, and is it crazy that Michael Bay would refuse to do Transformers 2 over an announcement like the one Paramount made? Do you think I’m wrong about digital downloading?  As always you can let me know by leaving a comment.


4 Responses to “Michael Bay Won’t Do Tranformers 2 Because of Blu-ray”

  1. I know you think I’m stalking you here and I wasn’t going to comment until you brought up going totally digital.

    There are shades of it now like you mentioned. From my perspective with kids, I can’t think of the last time I saw a CD player. I know they’re harder and harder to buy. I saw the downfall of the phonograph and now I’ll see the downfall of the CD player. Amazing!

    Isn’t Netflix offering downloads almost instantly now? We’re almost there.

    Thing I miss most? The cover art that came with vinyl records. I still have some around the house I’ll show you sometime.

    Then I’ll show you my parachute pants and skinny leather ties.

  2. It’s ok Jas. I like you posting on here, getting the discussion going. Don’t ever apologize. Hey, you never know, maybe you’ll learn something about video games…;)

  3. Ah, HD-format exclusivity. To steal a quote from the X-Files movie and change its context completely, the silent weapon for a quiet war. Both of these formats are so ridiculous because it doesn’t matter who wins. Firstly, DVD’s outsell both of them. Secondly, if one format “wins”, all it will mean is that the other companies will switch over, and it will be as if the war never existed. Either that, or a unified format will emerge, giving the same effect. It’s like this whole argument was created by frat boys who read too much Orwell.

  4. Michael Bay took back his comments shortly on his blog. It seems viacom and the HD-DVD camp silenced him.

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