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Thursday, December 08, 2005
Former Warner Home Video Boss Criticizes Sony's Tactics on Blu-Ray

Former president of Warner Home Video, Warren Lieberfarb, criticized Sony over its tactics in the Blu-Ray vs HD DVD format duel and said that the battle between the next-generation games consoles will determine the winner.

Lieberfarb was the keynote speaker at this year's European Video Perspectives (PEVE) conference, held in Biarritz, France 6th - 8th December 2005. Lieberfarb, has been characterized as the 'father of DVD' and he is now president and CEO of media, entertainment and technology consultancy firm Warren N Lieberfarb & Associates, and works with the HD-DVD group and Microsoft.

In his speach, Lieberfarb accused Sony of turning the optical disc battle into the console fight. Certainly, Sony's decision to equip the PS3 with a BD drive will have helped a content company come down on the side of BD.

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

"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."

Lieberfarb also compared Sony's strategies to those used by Samurai swordsmen: "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 compete like Samurai. It isn't the way we compete in the West."

Lieberfarb also 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: "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."

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