Why did everyone give Sony so much crap about using the UMD?
Also, don't forget that Nintendo did create videos for Game Boy Advance stored in cartridges. Remember all those Nickelodeon videos on the GBA?
Sony moved early on to release movies and other content for the PSP on UMD, but never made good on its promise to open the format up to other products, which meant consumers that bought into the UMD vision wound up getting burned pretty badly. It sent a very clear message to early adopters that the UMD was destined to yet another proprietary Sony format, which by then the company was notorious for repeatedly introducing and abandoning after itself getting burned by Toshiba on the DVD. (I wrote a piece on this a while back: www.engadget.com/2005/09/19/blu-ray-vs-hd-dvd-stat... )
Pile onto that the fact that the UMD being a portable optical disc drive (not unlike Sony's failed MiniDisc format) meant the PSP had a ton more bulk and moving parts (making it more prone to failure than a solid state cartridge system) and consumed significantly more power (spinning the disc, moving the lens, etc.) than other portable consoles.
When all's said and done, I can see why Sony wanted to make the PSP a media-centric device that did more than just play games. I think that was smart, even a little ahead of its time. But Sony failed in its execution, and their approach with UMD really rubbed people the wrong way. By the time they understood how the whole thing came off it was already too late to save the format from implosion.
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I am glad Sony's dream never came true. Just when we were happy to watch VCRs go the way of the dinosaur, people would have been right back to having a UMD player sitting on top of their Blu Ray / DVD player.
Flash storage is just superior in so many ways. Sony even built in a Flash storage area in the PSP for their proprietary Memory pro duo and even continued their proprietary ways with a slightly different micro SD card in the PSP-Go. Talk about mistakes on mistakes! Part of the reason none of this caught on was the high prices Sony continues to sell these parts at, even though only their products take these cards.
Talk about poor PR and horrible mistakes!
PS Nintendo sucks. They don't make a quarter of the products Sony makes so they get a pass, likely too often because everyone's favorite nephew loves his DS, plays it all the time and they created Mario. Mario still rocks in a lot of people's eyes.
Anyway, I think that people give Sony much crap because of the irony in it's name, "Universal" Media Disk.
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