According to an article released
by the Hollywood Reporter, Sony is losing support for its UMD format as a viable option for movie
distribution. Dramatic cutbacks in production of UMD formatted films have been made by many of the major
Hollywood film studios. In addition, it's been rumored that Wal-Mart is on the verge of dropping UMD movies from its
inventory entirely. Some of the more telling statements fired off by studio execs and representatives — and
published by the Hollywood Reporter [via Gamasutra] — include:
"[The PSP] is a game player, period"
"Our focus right now is much more aimed at HD at the moment..." [Paramount]
"[UMD is] awful. Sales are near zilch. It's another Sony bomb — like Blu-ray"
Comparing the current state of the UMD format to a hypothetical forecast of Blu-ray's success is
dangerous. For one, UMD is only supported by the PSP (for now), while a range of compatible players will back the PS3's
Blu-ray format. However, the statement from Universal could be indicative of Hollywood's general paranoia about the
"HD era," which has already forced the delay of the launch of Blu-ray products. Still, Sony would do well to
learn from the UMD-Hollywood debacle and focus on what the PS3's core audience is interested in, indeed, "a game