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"Transformers 2" is still a go with Michael Bay at the helm despite Paramount's $150 million USD HD DVD deal
There's plenty of cash to go around in the HD wars

The decision by Paramount and DreamWorks to go HD DVD exclusive set off an aftershock when most people thought that the high definition war was starting to favor Blu-ray.

The news was so profound that it caused director Michael Bay to go ballistic with a post to his official website. "I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For them to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks," exclaimed Bay. Bay even threatened not to direct "Transformers 2" after learning of the HD DVD exclusive deal.

Bay later had a change of heart and said that he took one too many sips of Kool-Aid from the Blu-ray camp. "Nothing good ever comes out of early am posts mind you - I over reacted," said Bay. "I heard where Paramount is coming from and the future of HD and players that will be close to the $200 mark which is the magic number. I like what I heard."

To see Bay go from raging anger over the decision to lockout Blu-ray to reaching an epiphany to going full-bore with HD DVD and discarding his threat to leave “Transformers 2” shows that there is more than enough Kool-Aid to go around on both sides of the aisle.

When it comes to the movie industry, dollars and cents are everything. The HD DVD exclusive deal made with Paramount and DreamWorks was valued at $150 million USD according to The New York Times.

According to two Viacom executives who wish to remain anonymous, the payout will come in the form of cash and promotional guarantees. Despite rumors to the contrary circling the Internet, Microsoft claims that it played no part in the $150 million USD payout.

"We provided no financial incentives to Paramount or DreamWorks whatsoever," said Microsoft consumer media technology group head Amir Majidimehr.

Supporters from the Blu-ray camp were quick to dismiss the deal. "This seems like a move of desperation," said Andy Parsons of the Blu-ray Disc Association, while Disney Home Entertainment President Bob Chapek simply said "This is not in the best interest of consumers."

HD DVD may have won this latest round in the high definition wars, but unfortunately for consumers, it looks like we're all in for a long fight.





"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer






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