Kill Bill and More: PSP UMD Drive Gains More Ground

Disney roll-out adds weight to format.

Posted by Staff
Kill Bill and More: PSP UMD Drive Gains More Ground
It seems Sony is eager to ensure that the PSP-developed UMD (Universal Media Disc) does not suffer the same fate as pre-recorded Mini-Discs, with the firm?s astute courtship of its traditional entertainment rivals today gaining further support from Disney.

The Walt Disney Company?s home entertainment arm Buena Vista has pledged to release five titles in North America this year, confirming National Treasure, Pirates of the Caribbean, Reign of Fire, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Hero. What?s more, Buena Vista stated that more titles would be made available in time for the holiday season in the US.

This move by Buena Vista follows on from Lion?s Gate Entertainment's announcement of a similar level of support for the UMD which, although an unproven format, looks set to be well backed in its post-launch phase.
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Comments

Joji 17 Mar 2005 15:03
1/7
The list of action movies grows but no sign of the like of the Shawshank Redemption.

Have to say the appeal of playing these flick on the move is growing, especially anything with an 18 rating. Can see me on the bus/train playing Kill Bill with the volume cranked write up to annoy people. Just like I used to with my GB.

Much comedy indeed.
JohnnyWashNGo 18 Mar 2005 09:08
2/7
When I first heard about the PSPs UMD drive and the possibility of playing movies on the machine, my initial reaction was to think of Tommy Lee Jones in 'Men In Black' and the comment he made about having to buy the white album again.

I really disllike the idea that even though I have the Hero DVD, I will need to purchase a copy on UMD to watch it on the go.

No matter what movie or televison content they decide to deliver on this format, most people are wise enough to see that buying the same thing on DVD and UMD doesn't make financial sense.

They will need to bundle the UMD version of a film with the DVD for it to make any headway at all.

Which will not happen.

These giant media companies just see another way to make money from the people kind enough to buy their products in the first place. The term 'Biting the hand that feeds' springs to mind.

Just my opinion, neither well informed nor well thought out ;)
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tyrion 18 Mar 2005 13:41
3/7
JohnnyWashNGo wrote:
I really disllike the idea that even though I have the Hero DVD, I will need to purchase a copy on UMD to watch it on the go.

No-one is forcing you to buy it on UMD, you could just get a mobile DVD player like this which will also play your MP3s once you put them on a CD. However, it won't play games.

The PSP was never going to take full-size DVDs as its main medium. If it played movies at all, you were going to have to transfer them or buy them again, full stop, no argument.

Why do people rag on Sony for putting the movie playing feature in? If you have the know-how and relevant software, you can transfer movies to a memory stick and play them from there. If you have a newer PSX you can now transfer your recordings to memory stick and play them on the PSP. Otherwise, you won't be able to view movies on the PSP without buying them on UMD.

Oh no, end of the world, Sony are taking over, evil corporations are forcing me to give them money.

I re-bought my movies when I moved to DVD instead of VHS. The upgrade in quality made it worth it.

If you want to watch movies and play games on the go without carrying two devices the PSP and the DS add on are the only ways to go at the moment. The only problems with the DS are that you have to transfer your movies to a removable medium and the screens are smaller than the PSP.

Would you be shouting so loudly if Nintendo announced they had buy-in from the film studios and were releasing movies on SD cards for use on the DS?
kid_77 18 Mar 2005 13:55
4/7
Like Tyrion says, just stick 'em on memory card. If you've got a PC and access to the Internet (since I'm replying to you on it now, I'm guessing "yes"), you'll find out how to rip DVD's onto the required compressed video format. I'd recommend a Duo card of at least 256Mb... Lik-Sang are selling them at a very tasty price.
JohnnyWashNGo 18 Mar 2005 20:16
5/7
This may be classified as a rant, and may not be the right place for it but...

Tyrion, I understand your point completely.

I would like to add, however, that the PSP and DS are not the only way to play games and watch movies on the go. I often travel, for business, with my laptop which not only plays movies stored on the ubiquitous DVD format but also lets me play Windows games (as well as games for legacy video games consoles).

My main grievance with the whole 'films on UMD' scenario is that the format will not go anywhere in the future. With Sony championing the new Blu-Ray format for digital media, you have to wonder what the point of a UMD movie is?

Would it not be a better move to allow people to put their copy of a film that they have purchased on DVD, onto a rewriteable UMD so that they could watch it on the go?

If they really want to allow people to watch films on the PSP, they should let them them do so by providing them with the means to transfer the content they have already on DVD, onto UMD.

But that would mean selling UMD writers to the public which they may use to illegally copy game software. Which is obviously a bad thing.

Like most hardware manufacturers, Sony is of the opinion that their customers are guilty until proven innocent; that everyone is a potential pirate. But they are more than happy to take the money of these pirates.

Sony has made many bad decisions of late. The were forcing their ATRAC digital music format on everyone buying their digital music players until recently. Their Clie range of PDAs was canned in europe and now seems to be getting the can elsewhere. The only good thing I seem them coming up with right now is the Cell processor, which is mostly IBMs work.

I am sure if Nintendo decided to do this sort of thing with the DS or the sequel to the SP, they too would want to lock people into a proprietary format. No company working to enrich their shareholders is going to do otherwise.

Thats about all I want to say. I have tried to be as concise as possible, apologise for the length of this post.

I would like to say that I love my PSP and my DS, they are both excellent pieces of gaming hardware. I just wish that the companies behind them would be a little more consumer friendly with regard to how we use the hardware.
warbaby 19 Mar 2005 00:08
6/7
It is really neat to watch movies on a handheld device, but it is not new, ive been doing it on my PPC for ages. and i dont see the sense in rebuying my movies in UMD format. making a comparison to VHS-DVD is a bit vast. I can watch my DVD's on my TV, my computer, my portable dvd player, my friends tv, and the tv owned by the guy 3 doors down. there are probably an array of brands being representing many different platforms. while UMD is supported by only sony, and at this time, only the PSP

my point is, i can buy a DVD and use it everywhere, on any thing that will spin up a dvd disc. while as UMD is quite a bit different. when PSP is done and over with, sony doesnt have to continue supporting UMD, and all these movies ive just bought are useless.

if your like any other person, your most likely not going to rebuy your DVD collection, but instead use the omnipresent PC and stick yur movies on a memory stick (sony format again O_o) and pop them in the PSP. 1) its allot easier 2) its allot cheaper.
tyrion 19 Mar 2005 11:35
7/7
JohnnyWashNGo wrote:
This may be classified as a rant, and may not be the right place for it but...

As long as the rants are on-topic, there's no better place for them than where people will read them.

JohnnyWashNGo wrote:
I would like to add, however, that the PSP and DS are not the only way to play games and watch movies on the go. I often travel, for business, with my laptop which not only plays movies stored on the ubiquitous DVD format but also lets me play Windows games (as well as games for legacy video games consoles).

While I acknowledge this is true, I had left laptops out of my post above due to the size issues. PSP and DS are much more compact and will let you play movies and games. Also some people are complaining about the games for the PSP being too much of an investment in time for gaming "on the go". How much more time do you need to invest for PC games?

JohnnyWashNGo wrote:
My main grievance with the whole 'films on UMD' scenario is that the format will not go anywhere in the future. With Sony championing the new Blu-Ray format for digital media, you have to wonder what the point of a UMD movie is?

There were rumours a while ago about UMD being licensed out as a portable media format. If Sony went ahead with this, there would probably be a boom in the software devices using it and hence a larger market for movies. There may even be the chance of UMD writers and transfer software for your own movies. And who's to say that we won't get an upgraded Blu-UMD in the future PSP2? The cartridge and disk size could quite easily hold any disk encoding format. Make sure the new readers canb read the old format, no migration problem.

JohnnyWashNGo wrote:
Would it not be a better move to allow people to put their copy of a film that they have purchased on DVD, onto a rewritable UMD so that they could watch it on the go?

If they really want to allow people to watch films on the PSP, they should let them them do so by providing them with the means to transfer the content they have already on DVD, onto UMD.

Actually, given the battery drain for spinning media, the DVD->MemoryStick route we'vce mentioned above would probably be better, 1GB sticks are becoming reasonable and that's just over half the size of a UMD. There was talk a while ago of transfer and re-encoding software becoming available.

JohnnyWashNGo wrote:
But that would mean selling UMD writers to the public which they may use to illegally copy game software. Which is obviously a bad thing.

Hasn't hurt them that much with the DVD format on PS2! :-)

I think the reason for UMD movies is that Sony knows that not everybody has a PC and not everybody is comfortable with transferring files from one format to another.

There would be quite a bit of time spent re-encoding the MPEG2 stream from DVD to MPEG4 for use on the PSP. Look at the re-encoding rates the PSX is meant to be giving. Even at a fifth of real time, you are looking at roughly 20 minutes for an average movie.

Modern PCs may improve on that time, but again you are aiming at the bleeding edge PC people, not the population at large.
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