Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

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The Power of Geeks

An observation from last week's news:

There was an article in Newsweek, about the imminent declaration of HD Wars. This has been expected for some time now, because there are two competing standards for high-definition DVDs, each backed by Big Powerful Companies. Sony is on one side, Microsoft on the other, and consumers are stuck in the middle in this reprise of VHS vs. Betamax. It's anyone's guess who will win, and the battle will spill all over the place. (I suspect that the big battleground will actually be the game consoles: the PS3 will support one standard, and the XBox 360 the other one in an add-on; my guess is that this will be how both standards will get into most homes initially.)

Anyway, the first machines are being released this week, and what really struck me was the first four movies that will be released with them. That's right: there will only be four movies available to play on these machines. Most of them are what you'd expect -- big-name Oscar winners like Million Dollar Baby. But the fourth was what struck me: it's Serenity.

And y'know, on thinking about it, that's brilliant marketing. They're looking for the early-adopter market: people who are willing to buy the hottest, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time gadgets. That's a geek-rich market, and picking a movie that is rather beloved of Geekdom Assembled but not so well-known among the mass market suits their purposes well. It'll probably sell a fair number of extra units among the people who just have to have the film in HD, while giving them some breathing room to work any opening-week bugs out...

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