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Sony Making a New Push for Its Ailing UMD Movie Business

19 Nov, 2007 By: John Gaudiosi

Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Pictures are taking advantage of the increased installed base of PlayStation Portables, as well as the holiday spending season, with a revival of UMD movies.

While UMDs retailed for at least $20 when Sony launched its portable entertainment device, an influx of new UMD movies are selling for just $5 each at retailers such as GameStop.

“Because each studio manages their own business, there will still be a variety of price points and content offerings for the UMD business,” said John Koller, senior marketing manager, PSP, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). “However, for the most part, the market has spoken — and has wanted better content at realistic prices.”

Koller said that the movies featured at these prices and how they're displayed and promoted will differ among retailers and studios.

Best Buy, Circuit City, and GameStop are the first retailers to step up the promotion of the new UMD movie pricing, as well as the recently lowered $170 hardware and $200 bundles. The new bundles include a limited edition “Star Wars” PSP packaged with Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, and a Daxter PSP that comes with that platform game and a “Family Guy” UMD.

SCEA also will up marketing of the PSP's movie functionality.

Koller said SCEA's approach to the UMD business always has been that with the right content at the right price, consumers will come. He said the PSP's screen size lends itself perfectly to viewing videos and movies on the go, but the company needed to serve up the correct content at an affordable price.

“With the core PSP owner being a 16-year-old male, they wanted more Wedding Crashers, “Family Guy” and Napoleon Dynamite and fewer romantic dramas,” Koller said.

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