In the first hint that he may be reconsidering whether to continue the battle with Toshiba over high-definition video, Sony chief Howard Stringer said Wednesday that the format battle between the two companies has become "mostly a matter of prestige." In a speech in New York Thursday night, Stringer also suggested that the battle over Sony's Blu-ray system and Toshiba's HD DVD "doesn't mean as much as all that." At one time, he suggested, it might have been possible to unify the two formats, and if time travel were possible he would try to do that now. He decried the decision of Paramount/Dreamworks to sign an exclusive deal (worth a reported $150 million) to release films exclusively in the HD DVD format. "We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides," Stringer said.