Stringer declares stalemate in Blu-ray war

The Sony USA CEO says that the HD DVD and Blu-ray video formats are locked in a battle neither can win.

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Aside from playing games, Sony's PlayStation 3 console also lets gamers play Blu-ray Disc movies, in competition with the HD DVD format favoured by Microsoft.

The two have been locked in their own format war, and are fighting to be the consumer's next choice after the current-generation favourite, DVD. HD DVD is backed by Microsoft and Toshiba; Blu-ray by Sony and Panasonic.

In June, major video-rental store Blockbuster said it would be opting for Blu-ray in stores, and many would not have the HD DVD format at all. The company cited the fact that the PlayStation 3 uses Blu-ray as one of the reasons for its decision. In August, it was reported that Blu-ray was outselling HD DVD by 2-to-1.

However, also in August, major motion-picture company Paramount Pictures decided to back HD DVD, and ceased production of most of its Blu-ray movies.

Howard Stringer, Sony Corporation of America's CEO, told the AP news agency that he believes the two formats are now at a stalemate. "It's been a difficult fight. We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides." However, Stringer said that he believed it was mainly a matter of prestige, and that it would ultimately not matter which format won out in the end.

He also said that he wished he could travel back in time to before he was made CEO of the company, when he believes there was a chance to unite the camps into one format.

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