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Sony CEO downplays HD format battle

Sir Howard Stringer said that Blu-ray is currently in a "stalemate" with HD DVD

Sir Howard Stringer said that Blu-ray is currently in a "stalemate" with HD DVD.

Speaking in Manhattan, Sony's CEO downplayed the importance of the battle, however, saying that it was mostly a matter of prestige whose format wins out in the end.

The HD DVD format is chiefly backed by Toshiba and Microsoft.

"We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides," Stringer said, in reference to the movie studio's recent decision to drop Blu-ray in support of HD DVD, for which it received USD 150 million from HD DVD proponents.

"It doesn't mean as much as all that," Stringer said. He believed that there was an opportunity of uniting the two camps under one format before he became CEO of Sony, and wishes he could travel back in time to make that happen.

Stringer was more positive about the PlayStation 3, noting that it has become the best-selling console in Europe after a price cut three weeks ago. The recent US price cut has doubled sales.

"We are coming back up again," Stringer said.

Sony aims to sell 10 million PS3 consoles by March, the end of its fiscal year.


Mark Androvich