PSP UMDs Snubbed By Target

Sony PSP
When it comes to releasing new formats for watching movies, Sony just doesn’t have a good track record. The latest in the line of Sony failures in this vein is the UMD format for the PlayStation Portable.

Dying a very slow death, this format might have sounded like a good idea at the time, but Sony’s finding out bit by bit that Universal Media Disc formatting, or UMDs for short, just aren’t working.

Though on the market for about a year, the PSP-based movie watching technology just hasn’t caught on. Sales for UMDs have been so sluggish that in March Universal and Paramount refused to release any more movies on UMD format. Wal-Mart and Best Buy have even decreased their stock. And, now, heralding the death of the format, Target stores have completely pulled the items from their shelves.

Sony’s other failures have included Betamax and the MiniDisc, and it seems Blu-Ray might not be going over as well as it was hoped. In fact, Microsoft officials seem to think this technology is being forced on consumers.

But, a few failures won’t keep Sony from trying, you can count on that. The company is rolling out Memory Stick Entertainment Packs with movies. These will boast a lot of memory and will give PSP owners several movies to boot.

Gamespot’s reporting, however, that Sony’s offerings for this right now are pretty limited. Each of the two different entertainment packs will include an installer DVD that contains four movies that will play in a lower resolution than the PSP is capable of. Considering the titles include movies such as “Hitch,” and “XXX: State of the Union” it’s hard to figure these will be a big hit right away.

Sony’s decisions as of late have been shoddy at best – especially when it comes to the PSP. The console has received a lot of press, but it sure doesn’t seem to be helping it compete with Nintendo’s DS. That gaming system became the best selling video game system of any type in America in June, according to a Nintendo release.

The introduction of the DS Lite “boosted total sales to nearly 600,000 units, almost double that for any other game device, and alone represented more than a third of total industry system purchases for the month.”

Makes you wonder if Sony is ever going to get the fact that hype and bells and whistles just can’t compete with quality offerings that are affordable and appeal to the masses? If consistency and broad-based appeal at reasonable pricing means a winning system, than Sony might even be in trouble on the next-gen front.

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