Paramount tries new, high-definition carrot; will gamers bite?

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This just in from the “If you can’t beat them, join ’em” department:

Having spent last year in last place (as Fortune points out today, last in grosses, last in market share, and last in profits) Paramount Pictures is getting creative in its efforts to seduce videogamers: It’s bringing the message right onto their Dorito-crumb-covered consoles.

The LAT reports today that Paramount “this week plans to offer high-definition downloads of its upcoming films “Mission: Impossible III” and “Nacho Libre” through the Xbox 360.” Clearly, not just becuase it wants to plug it’s films for theatrical runs, but because it wants gamers to use their X Box consoles to watch the movies after they’ve left the popcorn temples. T520050803123409697.jpg

Viz,

“It is also a subtle opportunity for Viacom Inc.-owned Paramount to plug the technological successor to DVDs. The Xbox 360 is the first of the new generation of game consoles that support high-definition video and surround sound. Paramount’s downloads will get the high-definition movie trailers off computer screens and onto the screen where images are most lush — high-definition televisions.”

But we wonder: After Sony‘s miserable run with the Universal Media Disc, (remember, the thing that was suppossed to turn hardcore gamers into movie watchers again?) we’re doubtful if a hi-def download will be more appealing to someone who’s not showered in days thanks to “Halo 2”. Indeed, it seems like the reason people weren’t watching movies on their Play Stations didn’t have a lot to do with picture quality – it had a lot do to with the fact that they weren’t videogames.