Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sony's UMD movies on the chopping block reports that "movie studios and retailers are starting to abandon Sony's Universal Media Disk (UMD) for movies." According to the Hollywood Reporter, "the US' largest retailer Wal-Mart has drastically cut back the shelf space for UMD movies and is considering to stop selling UMD movies alltogheter."

The publication also noted that "Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures have ceased to offer movies on the small storage disks, and even Sony has cut but the number of titles that it releases on UMD."

Michael Gartenberg at JupiterResearch pointed out that "the UMD movies have always had a difficult value proposition because they are priced similar to DVD movies, but can only be played on a PSP." He said, "Sony has to build on that as a platform and get more ways for UMD to be viewed on different devices."

Gartenberg did stress that the "UMD will stick around for sure for PSP games. But for the device to succeed as a movie player, Sony will have to introduce additional accessories that for instance allow consumers to hook up the devices to a television."

Was anyone really surprised by this? Making consumers pay again for a movie just so they can view on a PSP makes no sense, especially when there are ways to transfer from DVD to a MemoryStick Duo Pro via the PC for free. Sure it's time consuming and a pain, but it's also free.

I'll stop Sony bashing just long enough to say that Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror for the PSP is so far living up to its outstanding reviews. It offers great gameplay and innovative use of the PSP's controls that should be adopted for future PSP games. Let's hope this is the defining game for this portable platform and does for the PSP, what Halo did for the XBOX...