Stringer plays down high definition format war
- Posted November 9th, 2007 at 08:55 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 17 Comments
Howard Stringer, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Sony Corp, has played down the significance of the on-going high definition format war, which currently sees the company’s own Blu-ray format pitted against Toshiba Corp’s competing HD-DVD technology.
"It doesn't mean as much as all that”, said Stringer, speaking at the 92nd Street Y cultural centre in Manhattan, suggesting that the company is locked in a “stalemate” with its competitors.
"It's a difficult fight," he continued, adding, "We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides."
Stringer also expressed wishes that he could have somehow united both camps before being appointed to CEO, a suggestion that he would like to have done if he could travel back in time.
Elsewhere, on a more positive note, Stringer insisted, "We are coming back up again," in regards to Sony’s PlayStation 3 console, referring to its success in Europe and North America following a succession of price cuts.
- 4:24am EST - November 9th, 2007
War is ugly whether it's Hi-def or otherwise. Stick with it or tou'll regret it. Anyways, good to see that Stringer thinks better of the PS3.
- 5:38am EST - November 9th, 2007
What a stupid comment; he is like "we were winning but now we are not; I wish I had given in before". It is a very negative comment and if I were an investor I would probably be selling my Blu-ray stock right now. Very stupid comment if you ask me; and I think he's misinformed because Blu-ray still on top.
- 5:56am EST - November 9th, 2007
He knows something...as the Chairman this is the man who has to make the decisions on what Sony shuts down, what they keep, what they sell and what they can focus on for the future.
As you probably know by now Warner Bros chose not to renew their Blu-ray license last Wednesday. They can still release Bluray movies but they are no longer obliged to do so. In contrast Warner Bros' HD-DVD license is being maintained...
With no clear victory in sight and more possible losses subsidising Bluray players & inventory, he is doing the tactful thing as a Chairman and playing down the importance to Sony's Business if Bluray does not win the war. He needs to have a respectable exit.
Without Paramount, United Pictures, & Warner Bros around 70% of the worlds movies would be sitting in the HD DVD camp. Dreamworks and the others are more incidental. If Toshiba can maintain the price point on players it's hard to see a come back for Bluray particularly with Fox more committed to On-line movies, and Disney partnering with Microsoft to do the same. There's never going to be enough volume to make a profit out of it.
- 5:59am EST - November 9th, 2007
This format war is getting old like stale bread. At this rate with either camp losing or gaining new or losing supporters, we have come full circle.
- 6:09am EST - November 9th, 2007
Like you said, just because the WB Blu-ray license expired doesn't meant they won't release BD; they are selling far better than HD-DVD so there is not reason why they wouldn't sell BD.
- 6:30am EST - November 9th, 2007
I dont think WB wants to sell either of them. They may sell more BD but let me tell you they would be loosing money. The volumes are terrible and they have to provide terms to the distributors and large retailers. They have give them price protection, marketing funds and god forbid they dont move off the shelves within 90 days otherwise they get to do a stock rotation or worst...a credit.
Neither Bluray or HD-DVD is having the impact the studios where promissed. No one is making any profit. Toshiba has the deepest pockets and are doing deals. That $98 Special sold more HD-DVD players in one weekend than the best selling Bluray Player has sold in the past year... The studios are going to have to make a call soon. and unless Sony can enter a price war against Toshiba then my guess is they will choose the lesser of the two evils.
By not renewing the BD license Warner Bros are off the hook and can just manage whatever stock is out there now.
The news about how EA shut down their Chicago Studio for not making their numbers... its business. Same applies here. Movie studio's cant afford the drag on earnings as shareholders are being brutal at the moment. Same with Sony, they are shutting down divisions and selling any asset not giving a return on investment - otherwise Stringer is out of a job.
- 7:04am EST - November 9th, 2007
psn id: gingo... this war is definetely stale and hopefully soon toshiba will realise this and just give in becasue they are failing so bad
- 7:20am EST - November 9th, 2007
I still see BluRay as the winner, I have faith in that. Toshiba is just stringing this out in their little partnership with M$. Too bad M$ has the deepest pockets of ANYONE! I'd hate to have a format owned by M$. He**, I don't even like Windows (but yes, I still use it)
- 7:45am EST - November 9th, 2007
@The Cleaner. YOu are looking at it short range; I doubt any format war ever made any money on their first year. It's about marketing for the future and getting your place in line. It is true it hasn't kicked off nicely, but that's just how it is. I know this, and if you think about it I'm sure you know this too.
- 8:49am EST - November 9th, 2007
This comments from Stringer are not good. It seems like BR is starting to lose the war. Don't tell me I'll have to buy a HD DVD external dive for my ps3? That would be a big joke!!
- 1:03pm EST - November 9th, 2007
Wow, is this the beginning of the end? Who the heck saw this coming? Anyone? At least there will still be some BR movies till the end of next year, hopefully.
- 1:48pm EST - November 9th, 2007
Are you serious? Have you not seen what's been going on lately? Blu ray is kicking HD DVD's ***, just because a person in high rankings commented negatively doesen't mean anything. I really do feel sorry for HD DVD, they are fighting for their lives and have nothing to show for it.
- 2:17pm EST - November 9th, 2007
Honestly they need to write this guy a script when he talks about Blu-Ray and the PS3.
- 2:17pm EST - November 9th, 2007
Betamax, ATRAC, SACD, and now Blu Ray? Jeez, Sony is a glutten for punishment, when trying to standardise a universal formats.
- 2:51pm EST - November 9th, 2007
- 4:01pm EST - November 9th, 2007
I think you guys need to understand something here. HD-DVD and Blu-ray media formats only apply to people who actually own a HDTV. High Definition Televisions at this point are too expensive for most american families too own. The current penetration rate of HDTVs in america stand at a little over 10%. That really isn't all that big of a marketshare at this point in time. The last year for analog signal broadcasting is 1st Quarter of 2009. Thats when we go to a 100% digital high-def signal. Also most HDTV prices are still hovering in the $1000 territory even now. And thats for a decent size one which has decent picture quality. How many normal american families could blow that type of money on a luxury item? I am not talking about the filthy rich or the well to do either. I am talking about the average family. HD televisions are still too pricey at this point in time. So basically Blu-ray and HD-DVD are duking it out over a measily 10% marketshare. Wow wee! Thats really big there! LOL! My point is this, Blu -ray and HD-DVD will not become revelant to people across the world until everybody owns a HDTV. Then the war can commence. Right now there has been alot of negative remarks about PS3 from Xbox fanboys, media, internet bloggers, basically the whole anti PS3 movement. Playstation 3 is actually ahead of its time! Most people saying that PS3 bluray drive was idiotic to put in will probably be singing a different song in late 2009. Because by then they will probably be about over 20 million PS3's sold across the world. Thats 20 million Blu-ray players guys! Also close to 90% of families will have a HDTV in their house. So guess what, they now have means to actually view blu-rays and can actually afford it!. By then HDTVs will be real cheap, so most families can buy one. This war is not over people. Not by a long shot.
- 5:03pm EST - November 10th, 2007
High-Def market share for week ending November 4th, 2007
ANOTHER WEEK THAT BLU KICKS MICROSOFT ,TOSHIBA ASSES!!!!!!!
Spider-Man 3 BD 100.00
Spider-Man: The High Definition Trilogy BD 71.95
Transformers HD 31.42
Meet the Robinsons BD 8.82
300 BD 6.56
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer BD 5.03
License to Wed BD 4.24
The Shining BD 4.11
Mr. Brooks BD 4.03
2001: A Space Odyssey BD 3.88
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!