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Sony attempts to release at least 5 UMD movies each quarter, for less than $15 each


Wait, Sony. Didn't we come to an agreement? We'd stop buying UMD movies and you'd stop making them. We thought that the introduction of the PSP Video Store at E3 would signal the final "official" death of UMD -- but in a showcase of true unyielding corporate stubborness, Sony still plans on continuing its support for the failed proprietary movie format. According to a report by Video Business, Sony plans on releasing 5-7 movies from various studios each quarter. Each movie would be $10-15, a significantly lower price than when UMD movies first launched on the system years ago.

"We want to provide a legal offering from the studios, ... and it's an easier conversation to have with them now," said John Koller, director of hardware marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America. According to Koller, "there's a lot of positive momentum with the PSP." But, will plans to continue UMD really meet any success? Only time will tell.

[Via Sony Insider]

Clearance: Buy 1 UMD, get 1 free


Looks like amazon.com is finally getting rid of its UMD stock. They're holding a great BOGO deal on their UMD selection. Considering how many of these discs are already only $10, you should be able to pick up some good deals along the way. In fact, with prices like these, it's actually cheaper to buy these UMD discs than download these through the PS Store.

Carry four extra memory sticks with UMEMD

We all know that just one memory stick isn't enough for our PSP gaming and multimedia needs. That's exactly why a group called Team Xecuter came up with this UMEMD carrying case that can hold up to four memory stick pro duos.

The case is shaped like a UMD. The reason for this is that it will save pocket space by fitting right inside the PSP where the usual UMD game would go. Only drawback is that the case is only good for PSP-1000s. Also, it is obviously not as useful if you're planning to play a UMD-based game. It is, however, great for playing PSN downloaded games saved on the memory stick, storing that humongous music library of yours, and/or keeping your entire photo album with you on the go.

So far, no price has been set. Team Xecuter plans on selling these little babies in two weeks time.

[Via DCEmu Forums]

Win the entire collection of UMD videos from MTV


MTV and Sony Computer Entertainment America are teaming up to bring new UMD videos to the PSP. Get classic MTV series on your PSP for a new, low price of $15. Read more.

UMD is back! With the new, slimmer PSP with video-out, not only can you watch your movies on the go, you can display these UMD movies on your TV at full DVD resolution. With a new low price point, these UMD movies are quite tempting. Win all ten new releases, courtesy of SCEA. To enter, simply tell us what your favorite MTV show of all time is. The comment must be left before February 2nd, 5PM EST. You may enter only once. One winner will be selected in a random drawing. One Grand Prize Winner will receive one copy of every new release MTV UMD release (valued at $150 total). Click here for complete Official Rules. Eligibility is restricted to the legal residents of the 50 United States (including DC). You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Gallery: MTV on UMD

MTV and SCEA team up to bring back UMD


It's not dead! Sort of. Sony Computer Entertainment of America and MTV have announced a collaboration to bring new UMD movies to store shelves. In fact, they should be available now. "Jackass," "Beavis & Butt-head," and "Aeon Flux" are all available for $14.99 (MSRP) beginning this week.

"This collaboration with MTV is a key first step in meeting the needs of our consumers, who are utilizing PSP as a video player more than ever and are thirsting for more content, particularly short-form videos," said Phil Rosenberg, senior vice president of sales and business development, SCEA in a press release. "MTV's programming is hugely popular, and SCEA can utilize our internal resources to appropriately manage the publishing and distribution of these hit shows on UMD. This demonstrates our commitment to supporting the UMD video format by delivering what consumers want to watch at the right price. SCEA will continue to license movie, TV, and other video content, leveraging our sales and marketing strengths, as a strategic focus moving forward.

The price is certainly nice, and this is planned to be the first of a growing library of UMD movies to release in the future. Does the $15 price make you want to bite? We'll see how consumers respond.

Gallery: MTV on UMD

Cheap UMD movies at Circuit City this week

Believe it or not, major retailers are still carrying UMD movies, but Circuit City is most definitely the place to go to add to your collection this week. Through Sunday, the retail chain is offering several great titles for only $7 a piece.

Here's the full line-up:
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Spider-man
  • XXX
  • Men In Black
  • Big Daddy
  • Bad Boys
  • Underworld
  • S.W.A.T.
  • Hitch
  • Click
If you'd like our personal picks, we'd have to go with Men in Black and Underworld. Both take interesting twists to their respective genres and are damn entertaining. While you're there, look for Mortal Kombat: Unchained, because it's on sale for $14.

Downloadable games may not feature same content as UMD


The PSP Store is not only offering original downloadable content, such as beats and Syphon Filter: Combat Ops. It's providing archived UMD games, such as Wipeout Pure and B-Boy. Darren Carris spoke to GI.biz about how the Store and UMD games will intermingle: "I don't think that this would give us any cause for concern over UMD, I think they sit very well together. When you talk about the more casual games, pick-up-and-play games, you would definitely want to put them through the Store rather than have disc production, in to retail, and so on."

Thankfully, the PSP Store has no size limit, and some games are already topping 1GB. However, future downloadable games may not have all the features of their UMD counterparts. "Full titles won't necessarily include all content found on the corresponding retail UMD," the article notes.

$5 UMD deal returns to GameStop


The UMD format might be dead, but that doesn't mean you can't pick on its remains for cheap! Great movies, like Ghostbusters, Kung Fu Hustle, and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children are all available for $5 each. Check out the massive selection at GameStop here. With PSP-2000's ability to output video at full DVD resolution, these deals taste even better.

Make sure you use coupon code SAVER to get free shipping.

[Via CAG]

Infomercial: UMDs are 'built to self-destruct'

If you're like the folks at Multimedia Recovery, your UMD discs are exploding all the time. Seriously. As this seller admits, they're "built to self-destruct." Our experience with the discs have been far less volatile -- and trust us, we've played a lot of PSP games. What could be the reasoning behind making such a bold claim?

Well, it's obvious. He wants to sell you something: so-called "indestructible" UMD casings. Sure, they're cheap (only $4, shipped!). But, as bickle from CAG puts best, it "looks like a solution in search of a problem."

UMD claimed a waste of money, time and investment

David Perry thinks so, at least. The founder of Shiny and operator of GameConsultants.com came out and told the world what he would do if he were in charge of the PSP. To start, he said, "they really need to bring out the PSP 3.0 and start again and try to get a lot of units out by reducing the manufacturing costs, by taking out all the motors and drives and stuff they have in there." This would make the system slimmer still and drive developers to make games for it, he believes.

Perry thinks if the PSP turned into a download-only handheld, current PSP owners would only have to register their game with a iTunes-like service, to prove they own it, and bam! instant success. We think a download-only handheld would be pretty sweet, but Perry thinks that retailers hinder this progressive thinking. "The truth is, the stores will not carry PSPs unless they feel they are going to get a piece of the action on the back end. And Sony has not come up with an innovative business model that can support that concept." Who knows, maybe we can get some kind of "download station" at retailers in the next decade or so and just bring our systems in for purchases. It's a neat way of thinking, but really, you could say the same thing for the DS. What do you guys think? Would the PSP 3.0 be well-received if it were a download-only handheld?

[via DCemu]

Sony will not 'walk away' from UMD support

In a recent interview with Pocket Gamer, John Koller, senior marketing manager for the PSP, strongly defended the UMD format against accusations of waning industry support. Though movie company support has definitely dropped as companies try to figure out what titles work with the UMD format (hint: more Family Guy and less Rent), Koller says that UMD movie sales have actually increased 35% between 2005 and 2006 and goes on to say the sales increase "clearly demonstrates a growing interest by consumers for UMD movies."

Interestingly, he also mentioned that the cost to duplicate and create UMD discs is actually cheaper and faster than duplicating DS cartridges. Unfortunately, this brings up one of the problems of the UMD format -- the disc based aspect of it allows for cheap production but slow read speeds cause massive load time troubles for developers. It isn't a deal killer, but it something that causes headaches for developers. Koji Igarashi, the guy behind Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, has had to deal with that first hand and says that while he was initially worried, it turned out to be something that didn't hamper the team that badly while making the much anticipated title. "[Game companies] can overcome [loading times] by technique – it is the programmers' chance to show what he can do," he said.

The most important part of the interview was that, even with an official PSP iso loader, a new possible PSP redesign with large amounts of onboard storage, and an upcoming PSP Store with video/game content, that Sony will not abandon the UMD format. "We'll never walk away from our base," says Koller. "Whether it's movies or game content, third parties have an incredible opportunity to utilize it."

[Via Games Industry]

Deal of the Day: 20% off all UMD movies

Deep Discount is at it again. They're having their semi-annual 20% off sale, which will let you take off 20% off all DVDs, Blu-ray discs and UMDs in their collection. They have fairly low prices throughout the store, and with an additional savings of 20%, PSP bargain-hunters are sure to find something they want. Simply use coupon code USATODAY -- not only will you get an additional discount, but you'll also get free shipping. We were able to pick up Sin City for only $7, the perfect price for a movie on the go.

[Thanks, Spencer!]

Hollywood wants PSP to compete with iPod


In a recent CNET article, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey explains Sony's lost opportunity to capture the media download market. Due to their fixation on UMD, Sony has let Apple hold a near-monopoly on digital downloads. "The thing is, Sony could have been all this. The Sony PSP is one of the best portable entertainment media devices that anyone has come up with in years. It has a relatively big screen, plays video beautifully, has good storage and audio. It could have been the first big mobile carrier for TV shows and movies."

Even now, Sony continues to stand by UMD, instead of offering a true video download service for the handheld. Sony seems content with their position: their attempts in Japan have been lackluster at best, and PSP's video playback remains crippled due to incomprehensible video restrictions. "You got a company here that's pushing its own approach on every level, and as a result nobody is using its memory stick or video format," McQuivey said. "So you don't have the same robust market that you could have had if you said, 'We're going to open this up. You can put your Windows Media files on here. You can put your QuickTime files on here.'"

All hope is not lost, however. A Hollywood executive spoke anonymously to CNET, noting that many Hollywood executives are "pulling for the PSP to emerge as a competitor to the iPod." Many executives are afraid that Apple will maintain a monopoly over movies as it has had over music. Competition is good for the consumer, and the companies making the content. A PSP video download service makes so much sense, but it won't happen until Sony stops making lame excuses. "But Sony has been so dysfunctional and clueless when it comes to the Internet," said the executive. "We keep hoping they pull themselves together ... with the PSP video, we're hoping they create a forward-thinking strategy and stick to it."

God of War: Chains of Olympus - first trailer & UMD demo


Do it. Now. Yes, get a free UMD demo of the newly announced God of War: Chains of Olympus. Hurry! Then, see past the cut for the very first footage of this PSP-exclusive God of War. You will be absolutely stunned by the graphics.

Continue reading God of War: Chains of Olympus - first trailer & UMD demo

GameZnFlix rental service drops PSP support

Movie and game rental service GameZnFlix has recently dropped all support for PSP. The company, which used to provide UMD games and movies to about 100 customers, has called it quits due to changes in postal regulations. "The bad news is that these changes to the mailing standards are forcing us to discontinue offering games and movies for the PlayStation Portable device. Because of both the disc weight and thickness, we would have to use a more expensive shipping method and slower side of the postal system since these discs are no longer eligible to be shipped as 1st class letters."

Currently, it appears that GameFly, a competitor, will continue supporting PSP systems with game and movie rentals.

[Via Aeropause]

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