According to The Hollywood Reporter, more electronics companies have joined talks between Japan's Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. to develop a common format for next-generation DVDs and end a fierce battle, industry sources said on Friday. Other key companies involved in the format war, including Matsushita's Panasonic and Netherlands-based Philips are also studying ways to end the three-year stand-off that is threatening to stifle the industry's growth. But sources close to the electronics companies said it was still early days, and that the discussions would take a long time, while adding that a positive outcome was not guaranteed.

"Discussions are taking place, but it's very complex, both in terms of technology but also because so many companies have a stake in this," one source told Reuters.

At the core of both formats are blue lasers, which have a shorter wavelength than the red lasers used in current DVD equipment, enabling thinner lines and higher density of information on a single 12 centimeter disc. Higher storage DVDs are needed for high-definition movies and television. The companies which contribute to the next DVD standard can expect hundreds of millions, or even billions of euros (dollars) in royalty income over coming decades.