Sony and NEC, in reference to previous discussions, are teaming up for the purpose of streamlining both companies endeavors in optical drive and optical technologies. The move will come fairly soon, in only a month:

The joint venture between Sony Corp. and NEC Corp. will be called Sony NEC Optiarc Inc. Sony and NEC will separate their respective optical disc drive businesses on April 1, 2006 in preparation for creating this joint venture. The planned date of establishment of Sony NEC Optiarc Inc, is April 3, 2006 and it will take over the two separated businesses in creating one company, according to a statement by both firms.
Combining development and production costs will help both companies reduce overhead, potentially resulting in brand name drives that may be reduced in price. With the impending release of HD-DVD and BluRay drives, most likely respective burners for each, that's going to be a great thing. Hopefully it will also promote vendor unification so we are left with less headaches as customers .