Toshiba wants to work toward a unified next-generation optical disc format, its President said at a meeting of shareholders.

"We have not given up on a unified format. We would like to seek ways for unifying the standards if opportunities arise", Toshiba's President, Atsutoshi Nishida, said, according to a Reuters report.

Toshiba at the moment are firmly in the HD-DVD camp.

Toshiba and Sony held discussions last summer about unifying the two formats, but the talks fell through.

Analysts are comparing the upcoming format war to the Betamax vs VHS debate decades ago, but times have changed dramatically, and whichever next-generation disc proves the most popular gains more than the home video market.

However, it won't take long for dual-format disc drives to hit the market, if a Samsung representative's leak earlier last week is anything to go by. He said that a dual-format drive was planned for release as early as the end of this year.

Samsung later issued a statement denying that such a device was in the pipeline.