PSP Just For Games

PSP Just For Games PSP Just For Games

It appears that poor sales and a reluctance by PSP owners to pay for content on UMD may lead to the end of the format as a means of providing non-gaming related PSP content.

Two major studios have already discontinued their UMD releases while most are re-evaluating their commitment while retailers have reduced the shelf spaced devoted to movies on Sony's format while Wal-Mart is considering dumping UMDs entirely. The obvious reason that UMD movie sales are not going well is obvious and most gamers could have told Sony about them a year earlier when the format launched. High prices and the idea of paying a premium to view a movie on a small screen are the two main reasons quoted by analysts.

This failure to establish a new format by Sony could also serve as a warning sign regarding the company's attempts to establish another new format, Blu-Ray. One Universal executive, a studio that has stopped producing UMD titles, has stated It's awful. Sales are near zilch. It's another Sony bomb -- like Blu-ray. A Paramount exec has stated: We are on hiatus with UMD. Releasing titles on UMD is the exception rather than the rule. No one's even breaking even on them. Comments such as these are becoming more frequent among experts as Sony has vowed to stick with the original May 23 street date for its first Blu-Ray content release even though the necessary hardware will not become available in the U.S. until at least a month later.

Industry experts claim that the arrival of the video iPod has ended any chance that the UMD format may have had of surviving the competition. Apple's new gadget has put PSP firmly back in its place which is, to quote the President of one of the major studios: ...a game player, period.

Sony executives accept that the UMD format is facing a challenge but claim that the main problem so far has been the inability to connect the PSP to a TV. Once that feature is enabled, they claim, then UMD sales will pick up again. If gamers have to connect their PSP to a TV screen in order to properly enjoy a movie however, why not buy the DVD? This Catch 22 logic seems to be what Sony execs are turning to though as one exec claims: We're hoping the format's going to be reinvigorated with next-generation capability that may include living-room or normal television playback.