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Days of UMD movies numbered?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 31 Mar 2006 8:42 User comments (25)

Days of UMD movies numbered? Disappointing sales and falling consumer interest might bring about the death of Sony's Universal Media Disc (UMD) format - at least in the motion picture market. Two major studios appear to have already abandoned producing movies in the format. Initially, UMD movies were very successful with two Sony Pictures titles crossing the 100,000-unit threshold after just two months. However, observers believe the novelty is quickly wearing off and the PSP is simply being used as a gaming device, not the all-around entertainment gadget that Sony aimed for.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is one studio that has completely abandoned UMD. One anonymous high rank executive displayed enormous lack of faith in the format, and Sony, with his comments: "It's awful. Sales are near zilch. It's another Sony bomb -- like Blu-Ray." It's not just studios that have gotten cold feet either; retailers have also begun to lower their stocks of UMD movies and Wal-Mart is reportedly about to dump them completely.

Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment has also reportedly abandoned the format. "We continue to evaluate the PSP platform for each title, and if it makes sense for business reasons and the target audience, we will release them," spokeswoman Brenda Ciccone said. "Our focus right now is much more aimed at HD (high-definition) at the moment, though." A high ranking executive was a little more clear on motive: "We are on hiatus with UMD," he said. "Releasing titles on UMD is the exception rather than the rule. No one's even breaking even on them."

Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, still believes in the format but even admits that his studio have begun to be more selective in choosing what movies will be released on UMD. He blames the lack of ability to connect the PSP console to a TV to view a movie as being a major part in the failure of the format. He also believes Memory Stick video capabilities are to blame. "I think a lot of people are ripping content and sticking it onto the device rather than purchasing," he said.

Yes indeed many people are using their Memory Stick for video content as it allows them to view content they have already bought on DVD just by ripping and encoding. Why pay for something twice? And on that note... here's some guides that might help...

Convert DVD video to files for PSP with CloneDVD Mobile:
http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/archive/dvd_to_psp_clonedvd_mobile.cfm

Convert video files to MP4 for PSP:
http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/archive/video_to_psp_imtoo_converter.cfm

How to encode files for the PSP with Nero Recode:
http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/archive/encode_files_for_psp_nero_recode.cfm

Source:
Reuters

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25 user comments

131.3.2006 9:38

lmao, and on that note: guides that make it so you dont have to buy UMD movies.

231.3.2006 9:38

Quote:
However, observers believe the novelty is quickly wearing off and the PSP is simply being used as a gaming device, not the all-around entertainment gadget that Sony aimed for.
I believe people indeed are using it for all their entertainment needs.
Quote:
"I think a lot of people are ripping content and sticking it onto the device rather than purchasing,"
Yes, I think this statement is more accurate. Once people twigged that they don't need to buy the UMD's to watch films, they simply transcoded their own using programs similar to those you mention.

331.3.2006 11:03

I didn't think that format would fly with consumers. I think it's to expensive and pointless to have. I all see it as a stupid marketing gimmick on Sony part just to get people sucked in.

431.3.2006 13:14

Another thing is how stupidly overpriced UMD films are

531.3.2006 13:51

I always thought that UMDs were pretty useless. If other devices used UMDs on thier product, the discs would become more useful and liked. A good idea would be like an iPod with UMD support, or a UMD player for your television. A portible media needs portible players. It was a bad move on Sony to try and creat a lesser quilty, new media format right before they release a new. This is only going to make the Sony and Blu-ray look bad.

631.3.2006 13:56

UMD is just another ploy by Sony to undermine the movie, music and gaming market. They truly believe they are right and the rest of us are wrong. Our collective minds are better, smarter and quicker than they are. I think they will continue to lose market share in all facets of their businesses. Sony,you have hurt yourself much more than us. Rethink your business module and get rid of your negative thinkers. Sorry for the soapbox..

731.3.2006 14:27

Like a purple elephant trying to sneak up on you wearing clogs. Everyone could see this a mile away.

831.3.2006 16:49

This could have all been avoided if sony had the marketing stratedgy to make the psp ready the hook to your home tv at launch and also with a hookup for a second ps2 controller. That way umd movies could be watched on tv and a friend who did not have a psp could play on the tv against you in certain games. If would only make the psp sales increase.

931.3.2006 20:54

From day one when they brought out the UMD format i was like why would you want that format, when you can buy the DVD format for the bigger home screen. I have never known a person to actually want to watch a video on a smaller screen. I understand they are good for travelling etc... But for normal use i dont think people would even choose that format. Why wouldn't you just get the normal DVD format and then buy a portable DVD player. It's as simple as that :)

101.4.2006 18:25
Cisnet
Inactive

I was wonder who would buy that, i rather buy a dvd 5-10$ more and watch it on a big screen

111.4.2006 22:29

you gotta love this place

122.4.2006 8:24

i couldnt agree more

132.4.2006 17:03

What? I thought I saw the PSP being hooked up to a wide-screen TV when it was first shown. Are you saying that it in fact didn't have that? What kind of crap faulty advertising is that? :D

142.4.2006 17:27

UDM was for the msot part a bad move they would have been better off to go full DVD or at least mini DVD,I realy think they should have built it around normal DVD/CD Pull alil pice of plastic into place and boom you can fit DVDs in thier and they are protected incased within the PSP...

152.4.2006 17:32

I ignore all advertiseing it seems it lies 80% of the time 0_o

162.4.2006 18:27

surely not. Who every could have forseen the falling of the mighty UMD. This was doomed from day 1, if I could see that then surely Sony should have seen that to. Dumbasses.

172.4.2006 19:49

Yeah, but look at how many morons fell for that crap. Too many people are suckered into these bad products because they are ignorant of learning any further than what they have to.

182.4.2006 22:14

The umd hasn't failed. The umd movie has failed. with the MPAA trying to stop the bleeding from dvd burning do you doubt that the umd movie wouldnt have had the same outcome. The point of calling them dumbasses? Conceptually, the umd movie was a great idea. Pricing, piracy and the ability to find alternative ways to still play movies on your psp is the reason that the umd movie is seeing its demise.


193.4.2006 4:02

Joeva you hit it on the head,Priceing and Putting movies on mem sticks/HD is what done it in,I wnder if it would have been diffrent if they jsut put UDM versions of the movies with the reg DVD I wonder if that woul;d have went over better? the UMD game wise is nice its like the GC,DC its a pain in the butt to crack with no easy way to copy the games,and you know I dont mind that its the arse rapeing with everythign else they try and pull I hate....


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

203.4.2006 13:29

if your actually gonna go ahead and spend twenty dollars on a movie, your probably gonna buy an actual dvd


30 gig crappy hp laptop
broken 24x cd burner
usb 1.1
netgear wireless card
(everybody else has the cool shit)
2.6 PSP W/ 2gb stick!

213.4.2006 16:04

redsoxvin thats the jib,why pay more for soemthign you already have *L* the midea industry love it when you pay twice or more,thats why they should have have just sold them WITH the dvds


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

223.4.2006 17:35

when you think about it, how much could it cost to make a little disc, $.12, maybe$.13?


30 gig crappy hp laptop
broken 24x cd burner
usb 1.1
netgear wireless card
(everybody else has the cool shit)
2.6 PSP W/ 2gb stick!

233.4.2006 17:55

redsoxvin Ya but you still have to print them and make inserts and such but like DVDS they charge 2-4 times more than what they could sell them for and still make money. Instend of price goeging they should have just started to release thier DVDs with UMD thus makeing it more reasonable to to use the PSP as a video player,but like they always do they desided to charge 2-4 times what they could reasonablie sell it for.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

246.4.2006 16:48

Price, Price, Price.... It's all about the price.. Why would anyone want to pay 19.99 for a movie that has no extras just to play on the machine when you can buy the dvd for 14.99 or less? To me, this never did make any sense at all to charge so much for so little. If the prices were maybe half what they were, it "Might" have had a chance at survival. Wait and see, blue-ray will end up suffering the same fate for the same reasons... Sony definately lost thier marketing edge they once had. just my 2 cents..(good price for a umd)

256.4.2006 23:51
byteback
Inactive

Sony has always tried to force its own proprietary formats on us. Its never been interested in giving the consumer what it want, but in trying to force us into having what it thinks we should buy. It wanted its Betamax to be the video format, it wanted its memory stick to be the portable memory for cameras etc, it wanted the mini disk to be the recordable optical music standard, It tried to make digital 8 the digital camcorder tape standard instead of mini DV tape and it refused to make mp3 capable devises for some time until the CO was replaced! Why? Because if it hold the patents $ . Why does it think it can? Because it controls many distributions of content (Sony music etc) and it always though it market dominance of consumer electronics was unchallengeable! If it put the memory stick in all its digital cameras cameras/camcorder every one else will have to follow (wrong!). Blue ray v HDD is the same it believes every one will by the PS3 and as it uses blue ray, all other products will have to follow! By the way does anyone use Sony mini disks? I once looked at one to use for my newspaper for the disabled, we had it available on audio CD for the blind. The plan was, volunteers would read the paper onto a recordable minidisk at home in there own time and I would copy the digital audio into a CD; the copy protection stopped you transferring youre own recording back to a computer that the recording did not originate from!!! If we dont learn from our past mistakes, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes and Sony is to arrogant to ever accept it mades mistakes.

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