UMD Format Faces Crisis
American film companies express dissatisfaction at recent movie sales
Marking a year since the release of Sony's handheld, a joyous occasion it is not thanks to the recent reports of two major American film companies. Universal and Image Entertainment have officially announced that they will abandon the UMD format, claiming that movie sales on the portable system are drastically lower than anything they might've expected.
"It's awful. Sales are near zilch. It's another Sony bomb - like Blu-ray," said one Universal executive. A number of other companies have also expressed their concern for the low sales of the new format, as Paramount, Buena Vista, and 20th Century Fox begin to slash their UMD release schedules.
"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," said Brenda Ciccone, Paramount Spokeswoman. "Our focus right now is much more aimed at HD at the moment, though."
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment President Benjamin Feingold remains optimistic: "We're hoping the format's going to be reinvigorated with next-generation capability that may include living-room or normal television playback."