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Sony's Dille Explains UMD Format Issue

Many have questioned Sony's decision to implement the UMD movie format into their PSP, but Sony's Peter Dille has an explanation - and a few answers - in a recent interview with Gamasutra.

Sony unveiled their plans for a freshly redesigned handheld at E3, and the key changes are clear: it'll be 33% lighter and 19% slimmer, it loads faster and is better on batteries, and finally, it can plug directly into a TV for external play. As Dille said in this interview: "This new design addresses the load times to a certain degree. The internal memory has been improved, so the load times are improved."

But that UMD format remains, and Sony is once again under fire for keeping it around. Dille admitted some missteps Sony has suffered in the marketing of the new format.

"The movie issue you're referring to is really a function of our not handling communication with Hollywood terribly well," said Dille. "When the PSP came out, it was a new format, and as with a lot of new formats, what Hollywood does is back up the catalog and say, "Come on guys, let's release all this stuff on the new video format." Unfortunately, we didn't do a good enough job communicating to Hollywood about who was going to be buying a PSP."

Most would agree with this sentiment; while Blu-Ray has really taken off, UMD never really grabbed the public's attention. But it seems Sony remains confident in the PSP movie format, and will stick with it (as they've said several times in the past). The Sony executive did confirm a video download service for the portable system during that interview, however, so that's very good news. More on that to follow when the details emerge.

7/24/2007 Ben Dutka

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