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Sony to Ditch UMD Movies?

I wondered if this might happen: UMD Movies for PSP Now on Endangered Species List

Only one year after Sony launched the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in the U.S., rumors are brewing that production of feature-length movies based on the PSP's proprietary Universal Media Disc (UMD) format will come to a screeching halt.

Since the launch of the PSP, sales of UMD movies have gone from underwhelming to almost invisible, prompting experts to predict that the end is near.

Part of the reason Sony is having this problem, said Mukul Krishna, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, is the proprietary nature of the UMD technology. While most other developers are moving to open formats that offer greater interoperability, Sony's focus on developing its own technologies ties users down to a single device.

"Anyone who is going for anything proprietary is shooting themselves in the foot," Krishna opined. "Unless it is a very niche market, it makes no sense having a proprietary format."

Will Sony ever learn? First they invent an MP3 player that doesn't play MP3s (which they had to phase out when, surprise, no-one bought it), then they sneak malicious, non-removable spyware onto their customers' computers and, when caught, lie about it. (Also, be sure to check out their amazingly invasive and restrictive end-user license agreement (EULA) from around the same time.)

And now, yet another attempt to force users into purchasing proprietary formats comes back to bite them on the ass. Well done, Sony. How long before they just split the company right down the middle?

NB: The article doesn't explicitly mention the UMD's future as the media for PSP games, only movies...

Posted by chris at April 1, 2006 12:25 PM | Permalink

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