Sony's UMD movies on the chopping block

Sony's UMD movies on the chopping block

Movie titles and retailers lose their appetite for UMD movies

Movie studios and retailers are starting to abandon Sony's Universal Media Disk (UMD) format for movies.

The UMD is an optical storage device that Sony developed for its PSP portable gaming computers. The tiny disks are primarily designed to store games, but consumers can also purchase UMD movie titles.

The Hollywood Reporter, reported that the US' largest retailer Wal-Mart has drastically cut back the shelf space for UMD movies and is considering to stop selling them altogether.

The publication noted that Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures have ceased to offer movies on the small storage disks, and even Sony has cut but the number of titles that it releases on UMD.

Michael Gartenberg, research director with Jupiter research said that the UMD movies have always had a difficult value proposition because they are priced similar to DVD movies, but can only be played on a PSP.

"Sony has to build on that as a platform and get more ways for UMD to be viewed on different devices," he suggested.

He stressed that UMD will stick around for sure for PSP games. But for the device to succeed as a movie player, Sony will have to introduce additional accessories that for instance allow consumers to hook up the devices to a television.