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"It's awful. Sales are near zilch. It's another Sony bomb -- like Blu-ray."

When Sony launched its PlayStation Portable gaming device last year, it was confident that owners wouldn't mind forking over $20 per title to add UMD-based movies to their collection. Well, it appears that Sony's confidence is taking quite a beating.

Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment have put a halt to releasing UMD movies and others are including 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment are likely to drastically reduce their new releases or turn off the spigot completely.

Over at Universal pictures, one high ranking executive didn't cut Sony any slack concerning the lackluster sales of UMD titles. "It's awful. Sales are near zilch. It's another Sony bomb -- like Blu-ray," the exec claimed.

Even more telling is Wal-Mart's apprehension to the UMD format for movies. Although Wal-Mart representatives declined to comment on reports that the company will stop selling UMD movies altogether, things are looking pretty grim:

A check Wednesday of a Wal-Mart store in Santa Ana, Calif., revealed a drastic shrinkage of UMD inventory. Several shelves of movies in the PSP section were gone; all that remained were seven UMD titles sitting bookshelf-style on the top of the PSP section, with no prices or other information.

People are pointing out many reasons for UMD's failure in the movie spectrum. Some chastise Sony for releasing too many titles too fast instead of gradually releasing titles. Others cite high prices for UMD titles even though bonus materials were often cut out in order to save disc space. Another reason could be that Apple's 5G iPod pretty much stole the limelight in regards to mobile video entertainment, and that was before the UMPC craze.

Or it could be that people are just getting tired of seeing Sony introduce proprietary formats hand over fist. We have Blu-ray fighting it out with HD-DVD, Sony has even reintroduced the MiniDisc format and let's not forget MemoryStick format #194.

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By clementlim on 3/31/2006 8:12:52 AM , Rating: 1
After all these years, I still have my 1993 cassette walkman and 1999 CDplayer from Sony. Works like charm...and not to forget PSOne and PS2, arguably, best products from the walkers...

Anyway, point is, they have to fail before realising their mistakes and pick themselves up. Hey, they failed to make an alliance with Nintendo and created PSOne, right? Yeah, minidisc, Betamax, memory stick duo (and all its siblings) etc. they all flopped. I don't know about Blu-ray but the price is extremely limiting. USD1500 = RM5250 here in Malaysia.

PSP is a pretty nice idea. I say, get it polished Sony. PSP2 anyone? BTW, I don't own a PSP...

By Topweasel on 3/31/2006 9:38:39 AM , Rating: 2
See you don't understand, Its not that they don't come up with good Ideas, its that once they get a good idea they change it and screw it up and try to limit it to just them. The Walkman and CD was just the stepping stones to lead them to Minidisc, Their digital cameras where created for memory stick, their camcorders for whatever the hell their using now, DVD for Blu-ray, and now they take the PSone and PS2 success to attempt to force people into the PS3 which combines half those failures. The worst is the 1,500 dollars they are going to charge for Blu-ray player, and somehow everyone believes 2 months later that Sony is going to sell the PS3 with Blu-ray for 300-400. Histroy has shown that while they can make a good product as long as they stick to standards that in the end it isn't enough for them, and when that happens they always tumble.

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