Blu-ray vs HD DVD a ‘stalemate’, says Sony CEO

By Matthew Henry

NEW YORK: Sony’s global CEO, Howard Stringer, said at the weekend that the HD optical disc format war has become a ‘stalemate’, revealing that the once-confident Sony boss is now troubled by HD DVD’s fight back.

Speaking at the 92nd Street Y cultural centre in New York, Stringer said Toshiba’s coup in enticing Paramount Pictures into the HD DVD camp earlier this year was a significant blow to Blu-ray’s momentum.

"We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides," Stringer said, quoted by Associate Press (AP).

AP claims that Stringer also told the crowd that he wishes the two formats had worked closer in the early days to avoid the current situation. HD DVD players are gaining market share in the US due to cheaper pricing than similar standalone Blu-ray hardware, with prices falling to below $US200.

Stringer said he believes the format war has become ‘a difficult fight’ and used the word ‘stalemate’ to describe the state of play.

Unconfirmed press reports also suggest Stringer said it doesn’t matter which format ultimately wins and that it is now down to bragging rights for the winner.

Sony Corp, which backs the Blu-ray format against Toshiba and Microsoft’s HD DVD format, has in the past shown more confidence in the ultimate victory of Blu-ray, which is also supported by a strong lineup of consumer electronics companies such as Samsung Electronics, Panasonic, LG Electronics and Apple. requested a comment from Sony Australia but a spokesperson was not available.

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