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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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RE: Give me a UMD burner
By kilkennycat on 4/3/2006 12:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
The greedy studios are partly to blame. If the UMD copies were $4.99, I doubt if UMD would be a failure, and that price is about in line with the picture quality - a 5-inch screen is very forgiving...

What Sony needs to do is drop the UMD prices for all movies from their studio-properties in UMD format to $4.99...that MIGHT save the day for the format... however, I'm sure that their studio greed-moguls would have a fit. BTW, no problem making a handsome profit over manufacturing cost, even at this price.

Bottled Water
By dilz on 4/3/2006 6:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
This was an attempt to get people to pay more for something than they necessarily have to, just like bottled water.

In all cases, you'd be paying for the convenience and gee-whiz factor of being able to watch overpriced Hollywood garbage on a piece of cutting-edge technology.

For the bottled water example (though its contaminated a fraction of the time), you pay for the gee-whiz factor of having a convenient "carrying case" for your otherwise worthless beverage.

No one predicted that bottled water would take off the way it did, but many could predict the demise of the UMD format because of the x-TREmE niche market that it occupied.

I agree with the above poster that UMD should be made available for home recording. I miss the relative ruggedness of floppies - and that's not saying much.

Of course...
By dilz on 4/3/2006 6:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
...there are always flash drives, of which I have a few.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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