so this is a "microsoft ploy"
and sony's not-really-a-game-machine-but-a-HD-player trick isn't? You think that Sony didn't try to play a game and make their Blu Ray the "de facto standard"? Or that Sony hasn't been trying for quite awhile to get sole control of the hi-def wars?
Sony hasn't made *anything* recently that isn't proprietary and locked down in the extreme. Look at their memory formats, their previous DVD players, their game machines-nothing goes anywhere without Sony getting as much of the action as possible, even if it stifles production and sales, and costs massively more than the competition for even less capacity.
I dislike M$ more and more the closer I come to being "forced" to use that nasty bug ridden, Big-Brotherish, DRM clogged, "I-don't-really-own/control-my-own-machine-or-software-anymore" Vista (damn that DX10!) but you can't fault them on doing things the same way Sony does, or try to make Sony somehow the hero by default (M$ is Teh 3viL!, so $0ny is l33t!)-both are playing nasty games to get control of standards, not in the least concerned about producing the "best" product available or providing a really awesome choice for consumers. M$ and $ony are after two customers. Each is out to serve themselves first, and second, media conglomerates. Quit providing parts and devices that play movies and music customers already have. Force DRMs and digital-only playback methods thru natural hardware failure over time, or thru legislative fiat. Make everyone either go without, or buy everything new in a controlled format that expires over time, so you have to buy it again, sooner. More money for less creativity, a cash cow that does nothing but suck in money.
And here's what these conglomerates do to expand their business-not by hiring better artists, not by competition, not by trimming costs, not by advertising..nope-they "invest" in legislation and government. Good leftists who can be bought easily.
Watch, soon it will be a crime, or considered "child abuse" (allowing police and government intervention) to not have a television in your home. Mandatory FCC regs will force digital-only connections. Tube televisions will be illegal because they're not "green", or are horribly expensive due to a fantasy "carbon tax", or are too polluting to dispose of. (they're already legislating the type of frikkin' light bulb you can have!)
In order to comply, you either buy the TV/DVD player the court mandates or lose your family and face fines and jail time. But what you buy is only based on what's available-you can't choose non proprietary players if that's all anyone is allowed to make or import..
watch soon after, once total media control is complete, all storage will "expire" or be deleted by it's "owners" (not you). You will have to buy everything whenever it is decided yours is "obsolete". Failure to replace your child's copy of "Spongebob:Extreme 3D Director's Select Cut" gets you dragged into the system again.
Of course, California and New York welfare folks will get their entertainment subsidized by the State and Fed. Which means you'll be paying for your media *and* theirs via taxation. Media Cartels win either way. Soon, Congress will "get convinced" that it's "better" to simply bypass the government and send your paycheck right to Hollywood.
Max Headroom didn't go far enough!