by Timothy Lee
Mon, Nov 12th 2007 8:25pm
For months, Sony and the other members of the Blu-Ray coalition have been declaring themselves the victors in the high-def format wars, with Toshiba and the HD-DVD camp struggling to convince people that they were still in the race. More recently, after bribing Paramount to side with them, the HD-DVD camp has enjoyed a resurgence. And that shift in momentum is apparently having an effect at Sony, as Sony's Howard Stringer is now declaring the comptition a "stalemate" and claiming that it was never that important anyway. Given the overheated rhetoric Sony was using earlier this year, it sure sounds like Sony is now worried they're going to lose, as HD-DVD companies slash prices in the run-up to the Holidays. Stringer laments that his predecessors didn't work harder to come up with a compromise before the two competing formats launched. At this point, it's not clear that there's anything Sony and Toshiba could do to patch things up. There are now hundreds of thousands of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players in peoples' living rooms, half of which will become useless junk when one format finally prevails. Or maybe they'll all lose, as consumers jump directly to more flexible digital formats that are sold over the Internet instead of on plastic discs.
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