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Death Knell for UMD

Well, it’s no surprise that this has happened. What is it with people blindly following Sony on their quest to make bad products? They buy other companies stuff and rebrand it as their own. Is it any surprise to anyone that UMD movies for the PSP was not going to sell very well? Last time I was in the city, the Virgin Megastore had a rather long wall for the UMD movies. Titles like Rambo, Terminator II, Last Action Hero were all available. Was anyone really buying them? No.

Let’s analyze this problem, shall we? Take this link as an example. Amazon.com is usually one of the best places to buy DVDs online because of the price breaks you can get. Best Buy is also another choice of mine because the movies are right there, they have a huge selection and some DVDs are only 9 bucks. I digress. If we look at the price comparison between UMD and DVD, it’s almost 4 dollars more to buy the UMD. Most people, consider a movie for their PSP as a novelty. Who really wants to sit there and watch a movie on a small ass screen, while holding the device. Not too many people. Especially, when you can get the DVD for cheaper and it plays on your normal TV and sound system which is infinitely better than the PSP can offer.

The other end of the coin is this. People are going to be on airplanes, kids are going to be in the backseat, daily commuters are going to be on the bus, train or ferry. They’ve got nothing to do and are bored. I can see in some of these situations, people buying a UMD movie specifically for the trip. However, a lot of people, my mother included, only watch movies once. They don’t find it enjoyable to watch movies over and over again. They watch it once and then not watch it for another year or longer. I can see these people looking at the one or two UMDs they bought and thinking they wasted their money on something so trivial.

In addition, so many homebrewed hacks allow you to transfer movies onto the PSP with a memory stick. Sure, the memory stick is not cheap, especially for one big enough to transfer a decent movie onto it. But it’s an investment. You spend 100 bucks and then you can watch any movie you want. There are programs out there to help you shrink your dvds to fit on whatever size memory stick you own. So, it begs the question, why not buy a dvd in the first place and then just format the movie for viewing when you’re on a plane?

If you ask me, this format was doomed to die the minute they introduced it. Rack it up with their Betamax, mini discs, and coming soon to a home theatre near you, blu ray. The consumer is not as stupid as you think. If you charge too much money, they aren’t going to pay for it. Take a hint, and stop releasing products that suck. And we wonder why the PS3 is delayed. ;)

In other news, water still wet, and gravity still in effect…

2 thoughts on “Death Knell for UMD

  1. Don’t forget DVX DVD’s from Circuit City–They pushed those pretty hard on us a few years ago. And the fact that the movie becomes unwatchable after a set time period is a selling point?
    Of course, if you’re going to go back in time you really should give honorable mentions to: laser discs, 8-track tapes, pet rocks…ah the list goes on.

  2. Here’s a good example of the insane price differences too. I bought the Serenity DVD for myself, for around $14. The Serenity UMD I bought for a friend? $26!

    $12 more and you can’t even see it on the same size screen!

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