Electronic Entertainment Expose [E3] 2008 News

Video store to determine fate of UMDs?

After much speculation from gamers and the media on the future of PSP going the hard drive route, it seems as if now the top guys at Sony are thinking and evaluating the same idea.

Speaking in a roundtable discussion at E3, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) CEO Jack Tretton openly admitted that the company has had trouble establishing the UMD as a movie format.

"I think the UMD has struggled," he said, as reported by Kotaku. "And that’s an understatement. That’s been a very frustrating thing. I don’t think [UMD movies] were handled very effectively." He said it seemed as if the studios said "let’s see if we can get people to pay USD 20 or 30 for crappy movies with less content."

Tretton noted that Sony was considering a PSP model with a harddrive or larger built-in memory. Surely, Tretton must be looking over the shoulders of other successful movie and music players on the market and must realize that removable flash memory will eventually make the PSP obsolete.

With its slower cacheing of music and movie lists, and the increase in storage space of for smaller hard drives as well as drops in price it may be only a matter of waiting for the PSP to get a built-in hard drive.

Along with this discussion, on Tuesday Sony’s video download service for the PS3 and PSP went live. Tretton also admitted that this form of delivering media to both of Sony’s consoles may very well determine the fate of the UMD as a viable movie format, saying that they would either supplement the UMD’s struggle or be the "stake in the UMD’s heart."