Former Microsoft employee laments "HD-DVD"

Former Microsoft employee speaks out on the "format war" of the early/mid-2000s

Former Microsoft employee James Allard recently stated in an interview with NowGamer that Microsoft spent a "stupid amount of time" on the HD-DVD format.

He went on to talk about how "worrying" about other companies had a negative effect on the company, and served as a distraction from "core beliefs." The biggest effect being the lack of focus on what made the Microsofts's 360 a great console - the online services.

These statements stem from the mid-2000s events that saw the HD-DVD being heavily pushed by Microsoft - and other companies - as a new alternative to DVD playback.

In 2008, Toshiba officially announced that they would no longer support the HD-DVD format, after a protracted "format war" with those backing the Blu-Ray Disc. Prior to the release of Sony's Playstation 3, many viewed the HD-DVD as the format of the future, as the launch of the Blu-Ray was riddled with issues.

These issues were eventually remedied with the release of the Sony Playstation 3, and saw the slow decline of the HD-DVD format. 

Microsoft's strong support of the HD-DVD culminated in an add-on drive for the Xbox 360 console - an expensive piece of machinery that made the high-priced PlayStation 3 (that included a Blu-Ray drive) the more sought after console. 

While Blu-Ray hasn't become quite the "format of the future" that supporters had hoped (especially with the rising popularity of streaming services) it has continued on and it is still relevant today. More importantly, Microsoft has found its footing in the video game industry due to their focus on their online services as a "core belief."

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Published Jan. 29th 2016

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