Hollywood movie studios are ready to close the curtains on the Universal Media Disc just a year after the PSP’s US launch following poor sales.
According to Reuters, movie giants Universal, Paramount and Image Entertainment are all close to completely stopping their UMD production. Other big guns including 20th Century Fox and Buena Vista are also said to be drastically cutting their release schedules.
The problem has been plummeting sales, with the average title shipping just 50,000 copies and only comedies like Napoleon Dynamite generating any real profit.
PSP owners have not surprisingly baulked at paying £8 for a movie that they can’t watch on their telly at home, and instead have been ripping their movies onto a Memory Stick using clever boxes like Neuros’ MP4 recorder.
There’s also been the arrival of official download services, like Universal’s UK debut (story here), which make UMDs look about as essential as cassettes.
Sony’s been signing the UMD death warrant recently too – it announced the launch of a games download service for the PSP later this year which will ultimately include movies, and Japan has just been symbolically presented with its first Sony Memory Stick recorder.
A UMD funeral mightn’t be on the cards just yet, though – Sony is rumoured to be working on a PSP TV adaptor that’ll let you play back your mini movie discs on a TV. More news when we get it.