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Sony defends UMD, says 'future is bright'

Ross Miller

No, it's not opposite day (even though on opposite day one would still say it's not). Sony PSP senior marketing manager John Koller is standing by its Universal Media Disc. The format has received an abundance of bad press for long load times for games and lackluster sales for movies.

Speaking to Pocket Gamer, Koller said "UMD possesses many strengths, from size to form factor to portability," as well as lowered production costs, while admitting disk space can be a concern. Castlevania series creator Koji Igarashi chimes in, citing load speeds as a big problem for the format. Igarashi said, however, that programmers for the upcoming Dracula X Chronicles managed to shrink load times to a "considerably fast" level.

On the subject of UMD movies, the sale of which was discontinued by Target, Koller showed optimism a cited a 35 percent growth from 2005 to 2006. As Pocket Gamer states, sales have been mediocre but consistent in Europe and North America, but Japan's increased interest can be explained in three words: massive price drop.

But despite murmurings of a downloadable games and movie service, Koller is adamant about his faith in the format. "We'll never walk away from our base. Whether it's movies or game content, third parties have an incredible opportunity to utilize it," he said. Don't expect to see UMD to go away should Sony decide to unveil a PSP2.

In this article: PSP

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