Sony PSP games and movies are released on Universal Media Disc format, but the name's a joke. No other devices support the format, Sony won't support burners or third-party efforts to open it up, and Brian Carnell passes along the news that movie studios have now cut back or abandoned UMD releases:
The failure should make UMD movies dirt cheap on eBay as Wal-Mart and other large retailers dump their inventory.
It's hard to see why UMD failed.
The movies were expensive -- $20 to $25 per movie.
The PSP couldn't be connected to a television and there were no standalone UMD players.
I've been interested in failed media formats since discovering deadmedia.org and Bruce Sterling's Dead Media Manifesto, a rumination on the implications for a society that pours so much creative energy into formats that will be lost to the future when there's no devices left to support them.
How long will it be before the much-touted World Wide Web interface is itself a dead medium? And what will become of all those billions of thoughts, words, images and expressions poured onto the Internet? Won't they vanish just like the vile lacquered smoke from a burning pile of junked Victrolas?