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‘HD Era’ Opportunities

At this year’s Game Developers Conference J. Allard, Microsoft’s Chief XNA Architect, stated that the next generation of consoles would usher in the ‘HD Era’. So far Microsoft has not done all that they can to make the ‘HD Era’ a reality. I will cover what Microsoft has done in the past and what I believe Microsoft can do in the future to make the ‘HD Era’ real.

‘HD Era’ – Explained

‘HD Era’ – Past
The MTV Xbox 360 unveiling could have been broadcast on a national television network that has actual HDTV broadcasting capabilities. Seeing the “HD Era” would go along way in proving it to be real.

Microsoft might have thought that the national networks were too expensive but I doubt that. MTV was used because it has a high coolness factor, and this is a good reason to be associated with the network, but Microsoft could have at least contracted with Viacom to simulcast the infomercial on Showtime HD.

‘HD Era’ – Present
Many people have not been impressed with all of the Xbox 360 games because they are being down converted to 480i for broadcast television. Even finding true high resolution trailers online is next to impossible; I have only been able to find a couple, the trailers shown during Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference. These are located in the press section of Microsoft’s Xbox.com website: Xbox.com :: E3 2005 Videos.
Xbox 360 Games HD Trailer Blowout

Microsoft of all organizations should be able to afford the bandwidth required to distribute the large files needed for true HD resolution trailers. Microsoft already owns the technology needed to encode the trailers with the VC-9 codec that they own; VC-9 even got approved for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Microsoft needs to develop an application that runs on Xbox 360 development kits and captures VC-9 HD video to disk so that all developers can easily distribute HD trailers. I’m thinking that this application already exists but Microsoft should step up to the plate and host these trailers for all of its developers.

‘HD Era’ – Future
Hopefully somebody at Official Xbox Magazine falls down; hits there head; has a moment of brilliance and starts working with Microsoft to create a HD VC-9 player for Xbox so that we can enjoy full resolution 720p trailers with Dolby Digital 5.1 at home on our HDTVs. Enter the Matrix already did this so we all know it’s possible. Even if only one or two HD trailers fits on per disc having the public actually see what the Xbox 360 is capable of would get a lot of more of us HD Fanatics excited about the “HD Era”.

These are just some ideas that Microsoft should have done and some that Microsoft has the opportunity to use in the future to truly usher in the “HD Era”.


Originally posted on Dragon’s Kingdom May 20th, 2005.

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