TOKYO, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A unified format for next-generation DVD technology appears to have become impossible after the Sony Corp. and the Toshiba Corp. failed to reach an agreement.
Sony, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and other companies support the Blu-ray format, while Toshiba and others back the HD DVD format.
Time is running out for the joint development of a new format for marketing next-generation DVD products from the end of the year. As a result, there will be two incompatible DVD formats and software products on the market, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday.
A prolonged format battle like the one between VHS and Betamax two decades ago likely will discourage consumers from shifting to the new products.
In February, Sony, Matsushita and Toshiba started to negotiate on a unified format to avoid confusion arising from the different formats. However, with each side claiming its superiority over the other, the talks have been suspended since May.
Yoshihide Fujii, Toshiba's senior general manager, said the end of August was the time limit for agreeing on a unified format. However, talks have failed to resume, leading executives of the two camps to determine there is not enough time to negotiate a unified format.