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Sony Boss Downplays HD Disc War

The chief honcho at Sony Corp. may have raised a few eyebrows this week when he did not boldly declare that his format, the much-favored Blu-ray Disc, would rule the DVD world soon—as both sides have confidently claimed repeatedly for a couple of years now. Instead, Sony CEO Howard Stringer acknowledged in New York that the Blu-ray-HD DVD war is in a “stalemate” and he regrets there were no serious attempts at forming an alliance between both incompatible camps back when it was possible, prior to his becoming Sony’s chief executive.

Stringer also seemed to being discussing the format war in the past tense, as when he said, “We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides,” referring to that major studio’s surprise announcement last summer (along with much smaller DreamWorks Animation SKG) that it would support only HD DVD for its titles for the next year or so.

Without predicting its eventual outcome, Stringer simply said in New York, ‘It’s a difficult fight,” according to the Associated Press.

Stringer also seemed to play down the urgency of the war itself, calling it a matter of “prestige” more than anything else which side may turn out to be the eventual sole victor, should there ever be one.