Sony’s UMD (Universal Media Disc) format is in trouble. Sales of UMD movies have dropped significantly and retailers such as Target are now pulling them from their shelves. Other retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy are scaling back as well.
Sony may have driven yet another nail into UMD’s coffin by announcing the immminent release of Memory Stick Entertainment Packs. Available in either 1GB or 2GB capacities, they will come with an installer DVD with four movies: Hitch, S.W.A.T., The Grudge, or XXX: State of the Union. Unfortunately, customers will be able to copy only one movie (the other three will then be locked) onto the memory stick. The movie will play in 240×320-pixel resolution, much lower than the 480×272-pixel resolution the PSP is capable of.
Asked what this means for the future of UMD, Sony is calling the Memory Stick Entertainment Packs a special promotion for getting movies on your PSP meant to offer custoemrs more options rather than marking the passing of the UMD format. Yeah, right!