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Warner Home Video boss criticises Sony over Blu-Ray tactics

The president of Warner Home Video has criticised Sony for the tactics it has employed in the battle of the next-gen DVD formats - and for dragging home entertainment companies into the console war.

The former president of Warner Home Video has criticised Sony for the tactics it has employed in the battle of the next-gen DVD formats - and for dragging home entertainment companies into the console war.

In a speech delivered at the Perspectives in European Video conference, Warren Lieberfarb said: "If I put Blu-Ray in PlayStation and I don't license it to Microsoft for Xbox and I get all the studios to only publish in PlayStation, I'll beat Microsoft in the next-generation games market."

"We've been sucked into PlayStation versus Xbox."

Lieberfarb went on to compare Sony's strategies to those used by Samurai swordsmen, stating: "If you ever read The Art of War, you will see all of Sony's moves, including taking all its enemies in the same tent and then leaving them empty-handed. These are things that they have done historically."

"They did the same thing to Matsushita and Betamax, they did the same thing to Matsushita on compact disc, they did the same thing to Matsushita on the digital video camcorder," Lieberfarb continued.

"They compete like Samurai. It isn't the way we compete in the West."

Lieberfarb said that although it may look like Blu-Ray is set to win the battle of the next-gen formats, the war is not over yet.

"Hollywood blew it. They got duped. They could have created the format that optimized their creative interests. It looks like we lost, because there are six studios supporting Blu-Ray and only three supporting HD-DVD. But you know, there's always surprises," Lieberfarb stated.

He concluded by urging the industry to join Microsoft and Toshiba in supporting the HD-DVD format, telling the audience: "Convergence is here, everything is digital, the Internet is going to deliver video, you are going to want to pass information from one device to another and HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray is really the first battle in the issue of who controls the home."

Correction: An earlier version of this article described Warren Lierberfarb as the current head of Warner Home Video. In fact, he left this role in December 2003, and is now employed by consulting firm Lieberfarb and Associates - whose clients include Microsoft. GamesIndustry.biz apologises for any confusion caused by this error.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.