You might remember some time ago that Michael Bay proved he's a Sony fanboy by ranting about how Paramount would never get a Transformers 2 from him, because it had switched to support HD DVD exclusively. Obviously, once the sugar high from his Kool-Aid had worn off, he retracted the statement and said that 300 on HD DVD was pure ownage.
Well, he's at it again. This time in a post on his official Web site he said: "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 $100m checks to studios just embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu-ray," he continued. "They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth."
It's difficult to know where to start with this one. We can't help but wonder why Bay has such a passionate allegiance to Blu-ray, and why he thinks it's superior. Sure, at the moment you can fit a little bit more on a Blu-ray disc than you can on an HD DVD, but Transformers proved that doesn't matter at all, because we've yet to see a film that looks better in either hi-def format. The interactivity on HD DVDs is also superb, and Transformers proved that too.
Of course, Bay brings up the alleged payment to Paramount for switching to HD DVD, something that everyone involved with HD DVD has strenuously denied. They did admit there has been some money made available to help market the HD DVD versions of movies, but we're pretty sure the Blu-ray disc association is making money available for promotional purposes too.
But he's right about one thing. Microsoft does support downloading as the media distribution of the future -- so does Apple of course, but Bay doesn't mention that, possibly because it's a Blu-ray backer. And we think movie downloading has a future too, but we're some way off the kind of bandwidth infrastructure that will allow this to happen. Especially considering one HD movie is enough to use up a month's download allowance on some UK ISPs.
Sooner or later, we're going to have to give up our obsession with little discs of plastic, and we'll demand movies in formats that suit us, rather than some movie studio. Indeed, we've been saying for a while that it's about time for some legislation that makes it easier for the consumer to choose. -Ian Morris