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Sony Offers More Titles on UMD

28 Apr, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

Universal Media Disc (UMD) titles for Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) showed a strong first week at retail, according to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) executives.

SPHE is adding even more muscle to the little disc's lineup with a slate of titles streeting in May and June. Are We There Yet?hits UMD alongside its DVD release May 24 at $28.95. Catalog hit Charlie's Angels streets the same day at $19.95. Arriving May 31 are the UMD and DVD debut of Boogeyman ($28.95) and the UMD of Hollow Man ($19.95). Daddy Day Care, Bad Boys, The Grudge and Spider-Man Animated street June 14 (all $19.95), along with previously announced Hitch ($28.95). Resident Evil, Air Force One, Starship Troopers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon strike June 28 (all $19.95).

Benjamin Feingold, president of SPHE, said the studio is pleased at the retail performance so far for round one of UMD titles (April 19).

“It was an exciting first week,” he said. “We had reorders from essentially every account, and considering four of the five titles were catalog.”

Feingold said the studio is very pleased with the nearly across-the-board support from retail.

“We're also happy that EB Games and GameStop joined our distribution channel,” he said. “It's the first time for these big game retailers.”

Feingold also said that retailers' decision to stock the product near other gaming software and hardware was a good choice for the first entries.

But, he said, as more UMD product hits the market and going into the fourth quarter, retailers should display it near DVD sections.

“Especially as we cruise past 2 million or 3 million [PSP] machines sold,” he added.

For now, SPHE is focusing on using all the available disc space for picture quality rather than extras, Feingold said. But, as the market grows, the studio will definitely be looking at including added-value features, he said.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment, which is also providing content for UMD, announced it would release titles with extra content.

“We're gratified that the Disney Co. is supporting the format,” he said. “We've worked closely with them on development to help get the product going.”

It's a product the market needs because consumer interest in portable hardware is growing so rapidly, he added.

“DVD has been a fantastic success, but adding another distribution platform for packaged media was important for studios, as well as retailers, to keep packaged media an exciting product,” he said.

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