HD DVD Combos, stop the Wii comparisons and HD-VMD

HD DVD Combos

HD DVD & DVD Combo Discs

During the unfortunately short lived Amazon “Buy 2 HD DVD/Blu-ray movies, get the 3rd free” promotion, I purchased 3 HD DVD movies (300, The Departed and Happy Feet … with the discount, it was even cheaper than buying the DVD versions of these movies locally). What made me want to buy the US version of these discs (remember, HD DVD is region-free, so any disc sold will play anywhere, unlike Blu-ray) is that they are all combo discs – HD DVD on one side, DVD on the other. These are not available here in Australia, so I was interested in getting my hands on one of these discs and see what it was like. I did run into a problem with the Happy Feet HD DVD side, in that it would not play in my Xbox 360 HD DVD player, but it was easily solved by using tissue paper to clean the disc (it looked slightly oily to me). Anyway, the DVD side worked fine and the single disc widescreen DVD versions of these films were present (300 and The Departed were without extra features, but Happy Feet had the same set of features as the HD DVD side).

But I can’t help but feel it’s all a bit gimmicky, and that do I really need the DVD version of the film? If I were to, say, travel and want to play the movie on my notebook (which only has a DVD drive), I suppose this could be handy. But I suspect the HD DVD side won’t like the wear and tear associated with flipping the disc over and having fingerprint smudges all over the place as the disc is being handled. Buying the HD DVD only version, and then getting the DVD version when it goes on sale seems to make more sense to me. Or if they made a 2 disc set, one disc is the HD DVD version and the other is the DVD version, then I could go for it (assuming they keep it at the same price). Or if the studios were really keen on promoting HD DVD, then they can forgo the DVD version of the film at release, and then only issue the HD DVD combo version for the first few weeks (they would have to lower the price to at least be competitive with other DVD new release titles). This would (albeit, artificially) lift the sale of HD DVDs, but I think it’s good for the consumer too (again, assuming the price is right), because they would have a HD DVD verison of the film ready to watch when they go down the HD route in the future, and all without spending any extra money.

In any case, Warner are re-issuing all their combos as HD DVD only versions now, and with the associated price drop too. The extra price that is put on these combos means that Blu-ray movies appear to be cheaper, and that can’t help the HD DVD camp.

My Wii is bigger than your Xbox

Nintendo Wii: Don't compare it with the Xbox 360 I’m sick and tired of hearing people comparing Wii and Xbox 360/PS3 sale figures. Let me first say that I own a Wii and a Xbox 360, and I’m looking at buying a PS3, so I’m not biased towards any of the consoles (well maybe slightly biased against the PS3). While it is true that all 3 consoles are so called “next-gen” systems, to put the Wii in the same bracket as the Xbox 360/PS3 is ridiculous. The Wii is aimed at an entirely different gaming demographic, and the games released on it demonstrate this fact. Hardcore gamers are not likely to be captivated by the graphics and gameplay of the Wii. Plus, the Wii is selling at an entirely different price range, although the Xbox 360 Core package is starting to compete at the same price range. Comparing the Xbox 360 to the PS3 is fair (even though the PS3 is priced much higher), since both consoles attempt to do pretty much the same things. Comparing the Wii to either of the other consoles is like comparing a VW Beetle to a Hummer … I’m sure one sells a lot better than the other too.


HD-VMDJust like the world needs another blog like this one, the world also needs another HD format. Seriously, “**** off” is  what I say to the marketing people who thought another HD format would be a great idea. Do they really think people will buy yet another HD media player? Do they really think that the major studios, all of them have already backed HD DVD or Blu-ray (or both), will back yet another media format? (so far, HD-VMD’s content providers include VCL, Lazy Town, Eros Entertainment and Channel Nine here in Australia … not exactly the big names in movies)

Back when DVDs first came onto the scene, there were tons of other competing formats, some still based on CD technology. All of them failed, badly, and rightly so. I just can’t see any other outcome other than total failure for HD-VMD, or any other new HD media formats, especially when neither HD DVD nor Blu-ray, even with all their financial muscle and studio support, can be considered much of a success.


3 Responses to “HD DVD Combos, stop the Wii comparisons and HD-VMD”

  1. austincrouch Says:

    do hd dvds play on a wii like they do on ps3s?

  2. DVDGuy Says:

    austincrouch: PS3s play Blu-ray movies. Xbox 360 with the HD DVD add-on drive plays HD DVDs. Both PS3 and the 360 play DVDs. The Wii does not play any movie disc formats, not even DVD (although a version with DVD playback will be available in the future).

  3. Edgar Says:

    “I’m sick and tired of hearing people comparing Wii and Xbox 360/PS3 sale figures”

    ^^^^ Get used to it. I dunno about you but last time I read, the Wii was a dedicated GAME console. Maybe you feel that because the other machines try to be the ultimate PC console or Blu-Ray player, that they shouldn’t compare with a game console, eh? Well, nobody buys a GAME console to watch movies, dude. Or to download porn. So maybe you’re right. The Wii should not be compared to those glorified PC’s.

    “The Wii is aimed at an entirely different gaming demographic, and the games released on it demonstrate this fact. Hardcore gamers are not likely to be captivated by the graphics and gameplay of the Wii.”

    ^^^^ Bull shit. The Wii is the console of choice of both core and casual gamers. The same crowd that made the PS2 and PS1 huge a few generations back. If you haven’t figured it out, both the PS1 and PS2 catered to more than core gamers. And that’s why they could sell beyond the 100 million mark each. Because the MAJORITY of the user base was casual. What? Don’t believe it? Name me a SINGLE (1 game, not a series or franchise) HARDCORE GAME that sold 100 million units that was released either on the PS1 or PS2… can’t do it, right? How about a SINGLE HARDCORE GAME that sold HALF that amount… no?… how about a single hardcore game that sold 25 million units… still no luck, eh? You wanna know why such a game doesn’t exist? Because the core gamer demographic has always been a minority on every SUCCESSFUL game console (noticed that I sad successful). Fact is, no game console of recent generations (from PS1 to recent times) made it to #1 only by catering to the core demographic. Sony was in fact the first company to BRANCH out of the stale user base that both SEGA and Nintendo catered to back in the NES, SNES, Genesis days. Sony knew that in order to make it big, they needed to branch out and bring in new gamers into the fold. And they managed to do that with both the PS1 and PS2. Like I said, no modern console has made it to #1 without casuals. And both the PS3 and Xbox 360 are proof that a console cannot go mainstream by catering to 400 pound nerds that only play FPS or racing games. They need casuals. And that’s why in mid-2008, both Sony and MS are catering to CASUALS. In the case of Sony, it’s ironic that in 2006 they were so arrogant. They believe that they were big and untouchable, that they could actually release the PS3, push aside the casual user base that THEY CREATED with the PS1/PS2 and cater exclusively to core gamers and still make it big. HUGE MISTAKE. And that’s why the are trying desperately to cater to casuals. While some IDIOTS bloggers are still blabbing about how the casual craze started with the Wii… ignoring that Sony was the one that started it all. Fools.

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