UMD sales in sharp decline, studios pull back

One of the developments I never really understood was the huge success of movie sales for the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP). When the gaming platform was launched some time ago, game sales were disappointingly low while movies sales were surprisingly high. So high, in fact, that within weeks every studio seemed to jump the bandwagon and began releasing their movies on UMD discs. Well, the dream is over.

Hardly surprising, UMD sales have taken a sharp turn for the worse and the phenomenal sales figures of the initial months are a thing to be fondly remembered. UMD sales have become so low at this point that many studios currently pull out of the market altogether. Even Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, for example, who is directly tied to the PSP, of course, has decided to pull back on UMD releases for the time being. Don’t expect any more catalog titles to surface on UMD, and don’t expect every new movie to be released for your PSP either. Pickings will become very slim simply because people have stopped purchasing movies for the platform and seem to have – finally – embraced the PSP for what it really is, a gaming platform.

Nonetheless, Sony is not sitting idly and now has plans to talk to third party vendors to push for a series of converters that will allow you to play PSP movies on a TV screen. I am not sure who came up with this harebrained idea but I’m sure it will go down in the annals of the video industry as a joke. In case the folks haven’t realized it yet, but we have a format to play back movies on TVs, and we call it DVD. It works pretty well for most of us and has an adoption rate that is way beyond anything the PSP could ever achieve. The image quality is much better, the extras are much better and richer and many times the DVDs are even cheaper. Why anyone would think people could possibly see the PSP as a real alternative to set top players is beyond me, but that’s Hollywood for you.

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