Sony refuses to admit that UMD is doomed

Sony's UMD format is ideal for games, but who really wants to buy movies on it?

Sometimes a company just doesn't know when to give up. Take Sony's attempt at marketing films and TV on its proprietary UMD format for the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

Following a brief period of enthusiasm immediately after the handheld's launch in 2004/5, sales of UMD movies have been in sharp decline.

Another proprietary Sony format

Perhaps unsurprisingly, gamers didn't see much point in shelling out money on a format they could only view on a single device with a 4.3-inch screen. Especially while numerous websites were only too happy to explain how they could easily, albeit illegally, rip DVDs to Sony's own Memory Sticks.

In recognition of these slow sales, a number of major studios including Paramount, Warner and even Sony announced in 2006 that they would be limiting their future UMD offerings. The writing might well have been on the wall years ago, but to date Sony still refuses to chuck in the towel.

In fact, the corporation has just announced another marketing push for UMD, this time by offering a number of cult shows from MTV on the proprietary format.

Shows destined for UMD include Beavis and Butt-Head, Jackass, Wildboyz, Viva La Bam, and Aeon Flux: The Complete Animated Collection.

It's a given no-brainer that shock comedies aimed squarely at young males have traditionally outsold more serious movie fare on the UMD format. So we wouldn't be surprised if this latest move turns out to be one final, and rather astute, attempt by Sony to push UMD before throwing it into the bin alongside Betamax, MiniDisc and good ol' ATRAC.

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