Sony CEO Downplays Format War; Sees "Stalemate"

Posted Fri Nov 9, 2007 at 10:07 AM PST by
howard stringer

An apparently candid assessment of the high-def format war from Sony CEO Howard Stringer shot across the web Friday morning.

Following months of posturing from execs on both sides of the format battle, Stringer's remarks were surprisingly frank, with the CEO describing a current "stalemate" between the Sony-backed Blu-ray format and its rival HD DVD, even pondering a possible loss.

"We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides," Stringer said during an appearance at the 92nd Street Y cultural center in Manhattan.

According to published reports, the exec went on to describe a win for either side as mostly a matter of prestige, saying that if HD DVD ultimately won out, it wouldn't have much effect on Sony other than having to change the harddrive for its PlayStation.

"It doesn't mean as much as all that," Stringer is quoted as saying.

The CEO went on to indicate that there was an opportunity of uniting the two camps under one format before he became CEO, and that "I wish I could go back in time, because I heard it was all about saving face."

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Tags: Industry Forecasts, Sony (all tags)