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PSP UMD Format Cracked

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  • by glrotate (300695) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:22PM (#12443806) Homepage
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    • Well, someone still needs to figure out how to make the PSP boot from a memory card. Once that's figured out, then you'll be able to run whatever you want on the thing, including ripped games. You'd need huge memory cards, of course. The UMD discs hold 1.8GB.
      • The real barrier to this will likely be the price of memory sticks rather than technical difficulties. A 2GB memory stick (for a game that used the entire 1.8GB of the UMD) will run you at least US $200. I can't see many people forking over that much for a memory stick when the legit copies of the games are that much cheaper.
        • by gasp (128583) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:45PM (#12444087)
          History disagrees with you. A flashcard system for the GBA costs about the same ratio, and that doesn't seem to be a barrier. Forking over the cost of 4 games to pirate dozens is often a no-brainer for the less ethically-challenged.
        • by GutBomb (541585) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:48PM (#12444127) Homepage
          I can't see many people forking over that much for a memory stick when the legit copies of the games are that much cheaper.


          I can buy every game currently available and all games that will ever come out for the PSP for a total price of $200?

          $200 for every game currently released and every game to be released in the future is quite a bargain. sure you can only have 1 game on the memory stick at once, but you can have an entire library of games on your hard drive that you can copy onto the memory stick one at a time.

          not that i would pirate software... no way... not me...

        • Actually (Score:5, Informative)

          by M.C. Hampster (541262) <M.C.TheHampster@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:57PM (#12444203) Journal

          It looks like the first 3 games that were ripped were each less than 500MB [psphacks.net]. You could, in fact, get all three of those games on one 2GB memory stick. Unless there is a ton of FMV, I wouldn't guess that most PSP games are going to use anywhere close to 1.8GB. Although, we could see game studios putting junk content on the disk to up the size to try to stem pirating if it becomes possible

          • Re:Actually (Score:5, Interesting)

            by illumin8 (148082) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @07:34PM (#12446991) Journal
            It looks like the first 3 games that were ripped were each less than 500MB.

            I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a few bold assumptions:

            1. The developers of the PSP launch titles needed a way to easily QA many different beta builds of their games.
            2. Sony, wanting to keep a tight lid on the UMD format, refused to give any developers a desktop UMD burner to burn beta builds.
            3. Instead, Sony gave each developer a code-signing certificate that allowed them to sign beta builds, write them to a memory stick, and run through QA.

            You know what made me jump to these conclusions?

            The size of the games...

            At the time the launch titles were being developed, the largest Memory Stick Duo available was 512MB, which would explain the small size of all the launch titles. Even now the 1GB memory stick duos are just barely becoming available, and are in such short supply that I'm still wondering if they have been released or not (I have one on pre-order through Amazon).

            What makes this really interesting is that if the game developers knew how to write games to Memory Stick and play them for QA and testing purposes, that means the modders are going to figure out how to do it to... It's going to get real interesting when 4GB sticks are ~$50 US and plentiful and games are still only max ~1.8GB...
    • Bah! I think the applicability of this to warezing games is unfortunate -- it makes Sony consider this a Very Bad Thing, for one, and so inclines them towards fixing it quickly.

      Me, I just want to be able to reverse-engineer and twiddle my legitimately-purchased games... disable the %$#$@ timed minigames, that sort of thing. (Not that I own a PSP -- just a PS2 -- and I consider the timed minigames in FFX2 annoying enough to prevent me from playing more than ~15 minutes in, when the first one [a race to a su
  • for now.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by selfabuse (681350) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:24PM (#12443833)
    "Good to know that those files aren't completely locked. "

    ...yet.
  • page not found (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skyshock21 (764958) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:24PM (#12443837)
    Did sony threa ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ask politely for the page to be removed?
  • MirrorDOT (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dayflowers (729580)
    Mirror at mirrordot [mirrordot.org] ...
  • Mobile Gaming (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skyshadow (508) * on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:25PM (#12443855) Homepage
    So now that some of the hype has settled with regards to the PSP:

    Has anyone had a chance to compare the PSP with the other gaming systems out there? I'm seriously considering picking up *something* to occupy my attention on the flights I'm going to start taking over the next couple of months (somehow I've fallen into the business-travel trap).

    I'd like to get a decent system. The ability to watch movies is a big draw, but obviously nothing's out in Sony's proprietary format and I imagine I'd need one hell of a memory stick to watch anything from one, and it hurts my black little soul to think seriously about rewarding Sony for their shitty proprietary memory format.

    Played a little bit of Metroid on the Nintendo DS and it was okay. Not so sure I liken the approach that much -- I suspect that touchscreen would get scratched all to hell eventually like the screen on my Palm V did.

    I've browsed around the web a bit but haven't been able to find a comparison or even a real decent set of reviews from anywhere I'd trust (note to most gaming websites: Yeah, we've figured out you're whores. The ads for the product on the same page as the review was a tip-off).

    Opinions/Assistance? Is it even worth it, or should I just buy a nice book and charge up my iPod?

    • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:29PM (#12443900) Homepage
      I'm seriously considering picking up *something* to occupy my attention on the flights I'm going to start taking over the next couple of months

      There's this fascinating device, you have have heard of it. It's called a "book", and it's rather cheaper than a PSP.

      Snark, snark, snark.

      -grendel drago
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Ahem:

        Opinions/Assistance? Is it even worth it, or should I just buy a nice book and charge up my iPod?

      • by Tumbleweed (3706) *
        It's called a "book", and it's rather cheaper than a PSP.

        Saying the words 'cheaper' and 'book' in the same sentence is pretty funny. Have you priced books lately? Even paperbacks are like $7! Crazy.
    • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:3, Informative)

      by dioscaido (541037)
      The DS is an unforgivably underpowered portable (in terms of processor and graphics). The two screens a gimmic that gets old after a few days. It's wireless capibility is pretty nifty, but the games are very underwhelming.

      The PSP is essentially a PDA that can play music, movies, and can play games with graphics/features somewhere between the PS1 and PS2.
    • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:5, Insightful)

      by acvh (120205) <geek@mscigar s . com> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:37PM (#12443995) Homepage
      The PSP is absolutely a good handheld gaming device. The screen is gorgeous, the games (I have Wipeout, Lumines and Mercury) are eminently playable and enjoyable. I chose those games because I wanted something I could pick up, play for a short time, and put down again. RPGs and the like demand a longer time investment than I have available to me.

      It came with Spiderman2, I watched the opening few minutes and it looked great, but I didn't like the movie enough to watch the whole thing again. Apparently you can convert ripped DVDs to lower resolution to put on 512MB memory cards to watch, but I haven't tried.

      No, it doesn't replace reading. But it's a nice diversion, and I think it well worth the prioce.
    • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jarlsberg (643324) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:40PM (#12444026) Journal
      There are some good comparisons on Usenet, if you search it via Google groups. I've got both consoles (Nintendo DS and Sony PSP), so I'll chip in with an opinion. They're both good consoles, with some unique strenghts that make it worthwhile to own both.

      The Nintendo DS has the most addictive games out there (Super Mario 64 DS is pretty awesome, if you like that type of game. However, I don't care for Metroid at all. It's nice enough, but it's a pretty boring game). The touch screen is a stroke of genius, because it gives you the combination of a wonderful analog "stick" (via the thumb stylus) and an ordinary touch screen/stylus combo.

      Sony PSP has a wonderful and absolutely beautiful screen, no doubt, and I really like the size of it. It's got a decent MP3 player, a good photo viewer, but the speaker is not all that good. The sound output is much inferior to Nintendo DS and GBA SP, which is a bit odd. It doesn't have a lot of games released for it yet, but if you like racing games and card games/puzzles, you're in for a treat.

      I wouldn't recommend either one above the other. They're both great consoles.

      • but the speaker is not all that good. The sound output is much inferior to Nintendo DS and GBA SP, which is a bit odd.

        If you're out in public, you should be using headphones, anyway, not subjecting people to your noise, so the sound issue is probably negated that way. And if you're at home, you should probably be watching your video on your normal video equipment with decent audio. Sure, there are likely to be exceptions, but I'd expect that is the normal scenario, so I wouldn't get too worked up about it
    • "Book + iPod" sounds like a good bet, or you could grab a used Gameboy Advance SP for cheap. Those struck me as being more fun than the DS, just because the dual screens seem like a gimmick.

      I agree, though -- Sony is too evil to reward. Besides, the battery life sucks anyway...

      By the way, as far as the screen scratching goes, they make those stick-on screen protectors for the Palm, and you should be able to cut them to fit on the Nintendo DS.
      • The dual screens truly are a godsend. On a lot of games, the developers didn't seem to know what to do with it, so it's just used as a map or inventory screen, but the games that do make use of it are wonderful! Mario DS is my favorite time-waster, you can play the adventure game for long periods of time-wasting, or one of the myriad mini games for short waste periods. The minigames make great use of the touchscreen. One of my favorites is dragging bomb-ombs to their defusing pens, they start coming onto th
        • Okay, so the dual tiny screens on the DS don't add up to as much screen real estate or resolution as the one big widescreen on the PSP, right? So I'm not impressed there. The cool DS feature that the PSP should've had, and which would've made much more sense on the PSP, is the touchscreen bit. That would've been pretty awesome, if they could've made it so it doesn't get all scratched-up and gross in the process.
    • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:3, Interesting)

      Has anyone had a chance to compare the PSP with the other gaming systems out there?

      This is just a light opinion post...

      My brother bought a Nintendo DS the day it came out. I've had a lot of opportunities to play it including a flight to Switzerland and 2 round trip train rides to Boston (4 hours each way).

      The battery life was pretty good and it felt really solid. However it was hard getting used to the "thumb" attachment which lets you use the touchpad for directional-control instead of the directio

    • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:3, Informative)

      by lou2ser (458778)
      Personally, I'm still holding onto my GBA SP for travel. Its small, nice battery life, backlit for redeye flights.

      I bought a 512MB GBA Flash Advance cartridge from http://www.easybuy2000.com/ [easybuy2000.com] so I can load the emulators from http://www.zophar.net/consoles/gameboy.html [zophar.net] and play classic gaming on the go. The 512MB card holds every NES game I own, plus a few of my GBA cartridges. This makes it very easy to travel, its an all in one unit. No loose games to loose.

      I couple that with a PDA screen protector o
    • I can easily fit a movie on my 512mb memory stuck, which cost something like $50. Not a big deal IMHO. Picture quality is fantastic. Of course if you want multiple movies you'll either need multiple cards, or more compression. I'm happy with my PSP and use it every day on the commute to/from work.
    • PSP isn't the only system that can play movies.

      There is a 3rd-party add-on for Game Boy Advance that allows you to store and play movies. You encode the movies in the player's format yourself, so you don't have to worry about only getting to watch the few movies that come out in Sony's format. Just rip your Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVDs and watch them on the GBA.
    • I have both Sony and Nintendo machines and speaking as (hopefully) an unbiased source, neither machine has games good enough for me to buy over. I've played around with the PSP and my brother owns a DS and while some of the games are interesting on both machines (Lumines is a fun game, WarioWare is ok on the DS) but there's a lot of crap and the ratio hasn't worked out correctly yet (Mario 64 is a good game but the control is so shitty that it's less fun on the DS, IMHO).

      If you really need something now t
    • Here were my thoughts [slashdot.org].
    • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jasin Natael (14968) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @04:39PM (#12445367)

      I've got the PSP and I have friends with the DS, so I'll chime in.

      The DS came off pretty lackluster to me, with cutesy games that require you to scribble. My friends who own the DS raved about games like Yoshi's Touch & Go, which requires you to draw clouds around baby Mario to keep him safe, and draw clouds for Yoshi to walk on. If you're into game franchises from your youth (like the Mario games, Kirby, Metroid, Zelda, etc.), the DS is the way to go. Not only will you get the (goofy!) new titles, you can play all the GBA carts of games in these series.

      The PSP, since it doesn't get grandfathered into all the old-school games / franchises, seems a little less awesome at the onset. However, I can assure you that it makes up for its current lack of games and higher price with absolutely stunning visuals. Practical performance of the PSP is roughly the same as a Dreamcast right now -- Imagine the same quality of rendering, but at abount half the pixel count (480×278 vs. 640×480) on a VERY, VERY sharp display. Performance should improve as the system matures. In contrast, the DS's visuals are not even as good as a Nintendo 64 (think closer to original PlayStation). It can't even render 3D to both of its screens at one time!! (Technically, it can, but it can only do so at 15FPS, or by using a software renderer for the 2nd screen)

      On to the games... While the PSP is in dire need of some platform games and RPG's in the states, it does have several winners. Wipeout Pure is stunning. Lumines can be more addictive than crack. Grand Theft Auto, while not my thing, is on its way. There are even several FPS's slated for later release that look good. If you can read Japanese, several good RPG's are available, including an old fave of mine, "Tales of Eternia". US releases of the RPG's may or may not happen, but are probably at least 6 months away. There is a FFVII-related RPG due to come out, though.

      Almost approaching RPG status, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade was kind of the loser of the games I've bought so far. It seems forced, cheesy, and the gameplay is good but nothing to write home about. It's playable, but I get annoyed at the grotesque pictures that show during the long, long load times. Which brings me to another issue.

      Having the games on UMD means that you'll actually have to wait for things to load on the PSP, depending on the game. Tales of Eternia doesn't have any noticable load times, so from a purely technical standpoint, we know it can be done. Lumines doesn't seem to need that much data, and also doesn't lag. But, games with huge maps (Wipeout Pure) have long load times for new levels, and Untold Legends has actually frozen for 3-5 seconds to await UMD data during gameplay.

      Pluses and minuses tallied, the PSP was a clear choice for me. Being able to sleep the system with a paused game and resume hours or even days later is hugely convenient. I bought a 512MB memory stick ($70 or so online), and it will hold a full-length feature film, or 3 medium-high quality 1-hour TV shows. You can find lots of software packages to sync up and convert movies, music, photos, etc. I use NullRiver's PSPWare, and it has made the PSP my favorite movie player (4.3" screen @ 1ft ~= 43" screen @ 10ft, in my perception, and it doesn't heat up like a laptop does). Drag 'n Drop a DivX Movie or a ripped VOB, wait an hour or so, viola!

      Bottom line: The PSP does have a more mature, more polished feel. While I'm sure some games will eventually be as juvenile as the ones on the Nintendo DS, the technical merits of the PSP make it more capable of engaging games, and the ability to sleep the system mid-game makes it more convenient overall. With a few good RPG's, Sidescrollers, and a platform game or two (ala Ratchet & Clank, or Jak & Dexter) it would hop, skip, and jump all over the DS.

      Jasin Natael
      • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doomstalk (629173)
        The concept of "juvenile" vs. "adult" games really drives me nuts. What, exactly, makes running over a guy in GTA so much better than hopping on a goomba in Mario Bros.? If it's fun, it's fun. Oh, and if you want to see juvenile, check out God of War. Great game, I know. But did it really need to have you mash buttons to have sex with polygon women? If this is what "mature" gaming means, why don't I just eschew the expensive hardware and games, and just borrow some middle schooler's notebook. The doodles of
        • Re:Mobile Gaming (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jasin Natael (14968)

          That's not the distinction I'm drawing. A game that requires you to whip through hairpin turns in an airship, or fight through a dungeon of monsters and solve difficult puzzles just seems a little more mature than one where you are required to draw basic shapes around a falling baby, or pull boogers out of someone's nose with a stylus. The kind of games I've seen on DS are not just basic, they're pedestrian and gimmicky, and most lack the substance required to compensate.

          I agree that most "mature" games

  • hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by donutface (847957) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:25PM (#12443856)
    If it was completely locked in the first place, how can the PSP read it?
  • More about UMD disks (Score:5, Informative)

    by blogtim (804206) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:27PM (#12443876) Homepage
    In case you are out of the gaming loop like me, UMD stand for Sony's proprietary 1.8 GB "Universal Media Disk [playstation.com]".
    UMD (Universal Media Disc) is a new, proprietary, high-capacity optical medium enabling game software, full-motion video and other forms of digital entertainment content such as movies and music, to be stored. The newly developed UMD is the next-generation compact storage media and at only 60mm in diameter, can store up to 1.8GB of digital data, making it perfect for a portable entertainment player like the PSP system. UMD stores a broad range of digital entertainment content including games, music, movies, and more.
    Funny how it is called "universal". Anyway, I found an interesting thread on UMD disks [emuboards.com] at Emuboards.
  • Cool, I guess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jarlsberg (643324) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:27PM (#12443879) Journal
    Good thing for all wannabe PSP "pirates", although this certainly doesn't increase the chances that Sony will produce a consumer UMD burner, but those chances were slim to begin with anyway...


    This is early days, for sure, but I wonder if it will be possible to play UMD extracted games from a memory chip in the future (whenever 2GB chips are released...). Would be a bugger to copy 1+ GB to a memory chip, I guess, not to speak of the memory chip being so expensive in the first place. ;/

  • Read the thread (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:28PM (#12443882) Homepage
    The comments thread on the page in interesting. Can the PSP read a mini CD? I don't advocate stealing games, but the prospect of running linux on the harware is cool. They are booting Linux on the Nintendo DS [dslinux.org].

  • by maynard (3337) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:28PM (#12443895) Journal
    OK, so the umd disc was cracked and now some folks are passing around image files. Great. Whatever. What I'd like to see is arbitrary image execution for a Linux port so I can stick in a usb keyboard and mouse and run emacs on the thing. Talk about a handy little note taker! I could care less about the cracked games... Come on Sony, help us out here! --M
    • Just check out www.psp-linux.org. People are working hard to find entry points into the PSP, and reading UMD disks is a small step in that direction. The next woud be to be able to write such disks and attempt to find a way to execute arbitrary code from that disk. Then we will see a PSP Linux distro that you can buy on a little disk and not have to crack it open :) Just give it time.
      • Apparently someone has been able to run a hello world app off a memory stick, but it requires downgrading to a 1.0 firmware which removes an encryption requirement for running code off the memory stick... link and discussion are here [ps2dev.org]
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tufriast (824996) * on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:30PM (#12443919)
    I don't even know why companies bother making proprietary formats anymore. Games are games, and systems are systems. They get hacked so fast now it's almost a waste of money to bother layer on the security. Unless they can 100% control the H/W from being taken apart, or the code being looked at - it should just be open source. I think using an obscure ISO standard is a joke as well. If it's a format anything outside of a self-invented multi-layered security device - it's gonna be blown open.
    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ityllux (853334)
      Just because it's "proprietary" doesn't mean they're trying to make it unbreakable. Usually proprietary formats are the result of a company figuring out the simplest and cheapest combination of hardware and software they can make.

      As to why they don't make it open source, they really have no reason to. Why should they care if people can't make ISO copies without having to reverse engineer the hardware?

  • by gatkinso (15975) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:33PM (#12443949)
    PHB: "Make us an uncrackable format, you."

    You: "Dammit."

    Three months later, read about how you miserably failed on /.
  • Got list? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by amichalo (132545) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:33PM (#12443960)
    Who's got a list of format's not hacked?
    - PSP UMB [engadget.com]
    - N Gage [interesting-people.org]
    - DVD [videohelp.com]
    - Audio CD [cdfreaks.com]
    - DVD Audio [cnn.com]

    all have been visited by hackers
  • yay!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mangus_angus (873781)
    Now I just have to download the games, run down to my local best buy and buy a UMD burn.......er...ummm never mind.
  • Viva la 1980s (Score:2, Interesting)

    I thought we had left cartridges behind.

    By that, I mean the idea that you should only be able to do things with your device that licensed developers have been blessed enough to be allowed to do. If you want to make your own games or software, pony up a few Gs and sign an NDA for a 'development kit'.

    Minidisc, Memory Stick, UMD, Sony just doesn't get it. Why go through all the trouble to put such promising power in the palms of your hands, only to lock up its capabilities in proprietary media formats, i
  • Actually... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sprotch (832431)
    A propriatory format has been successful before. The Gamecube's mini-DVDs seem to have been sufficient to protect it from widespread piracy. I still see Dreamcast games for download, but have yet to find gamecube ones.

    Although the appearance of blank media is likely, it would be much more expensive to produce and sold at a higher price than a standard one, hence diminishing its appeal.

    Sony might have something here.
  • by ewhac (5844) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:47PM (#12444106) Homepage Journal
    Are these people completely stupid? What on earth possessed them to publish the fscking ISOs? If there's a clearer way of establishing a case of copyright infringement, I can't think of it.

    Let me be clear: I am no fan of the current copyright regime, since it's at loggerheads with the fundamental nature of computers. The DMCA is an especially execrable piece of... legislation. But by publishing the ISOs to games, the people behind this reverse-engineering effort are almost immediately discrediting the value of their good work. Sony will calmly stand before a judge and say, "See? There's no academic or social or Fair Use argument here. Upon successfully bypassing our security regime, the very first thing these criminals did was copy and publish the games. We therefore ask for a permanent injunction."

    Posting the ISOs was completely unnecessary. Now that the discs are (apparently) readable, anybody interested in reverse-engineering the games themselves could just as easily bought their own copy and worked from that.

    I expect this to end poorly...

    Schwab

  • by pnice (753704) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:47PM (#12444115)
    According to this:

    Elf to PBP convertor v0.3 - homebrew now possible!
    Internal Reality have released Elf to PBP convertor which is a program that allows you to convert a ELF file compiled for the PSP and convert it into a PBP file which is runnable on a PSP via the memory stick. This means that homebrew is now possible but there is one limitation to this which is you will need a Japanese v1.00 firmware to run the converted file, a v1.50 Japanese PSP or US PSP (any version) will not work.

    If you are a developer and are lucky enough to have a v1.00 Japanese PSP then visit the homepage at http://www.internalreality.com/ [internalreality.com] for more information. You can discuss this news on the forum post here started by gbafan.
    http://emuholic.emuboards.com/modules.php?name=New s&file=article&sid=486&tbid=6 [emuboards.com]
  • If MS have this as some kind of security system, then isn't hacking it a violation of the DMCA?

    Or am I missing something?

    cheers!

    RS

  • by springbox (853816) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @02:54PM (#12444179)
    The UMD discs were a good (as far as Sony is concerned) preventaive measure for keeping people from duplicating the content on the game discs. When people have the ability to play on the hardware that's also trying to lock them out, then the fun begins.

    It's like the Dreamcast's GD-ROMs. Sure you couldn't just go and use a regular CD-ROM drive to read the high density area, but that doesn't stop anyone from writing an (unlicensed) program for the Dreamcast that uses the system's CD reader to read and copy that information.
  • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Thursday May 05, 2005 @03:07PM (#12444269) Homepage
    Sony is being dumb with the UMD format.

    Here they have a device which for most users will ancillary to their home or laptop DVD player. So people would buy these things as travelling movies.

    I assumed the movies would be in the $8-14 dollar range.

    Nope. Full price, and in most cases *more* than the DVD.

    Now, I'm not a marketing expert, but if I were sony, I'd drop the price to $8 for UMD movies, I'd throw them into the box along with the DVD ("Buy the DVD and get the UMD for free!!!"). Get the format established.

    Nobody will buy UMD's at $23, yet that's the price. And if nobody will buy them, Sony can't get the format established. Which means nobody will commit to the format.

    I guess they're just too smart for me over at Sony marketing.
    • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @03:39PM (#12444678)
      If I were Sony, I wouldn't have developed UMD in the first place, after the collossal failure of its predecessor, the MiniDisc. I would have shunted the "proprietary and developed-in-house is good" mentality altogether and replaced both the UMD drive and the Memory Stick Duo slot with a plain CompactFlash port.

      A typical full-length movie with H.264 video encoding and stereo sound will fit on a 512MB CompactFlash-type card easily. Using plain old ROM in them instead of Flash memory would bring the sale price down, and be cheaper to manufacture.

      Too late now, I guess.
      • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @03:50PM (#12444779) Homepage
        You must remember, though, that one of the reasons to go with a proprietary format is to curb piracy. Using something like CF means piracy is incredibly easy, as media readers and writers are universally available. The only solution is encryption, but that can be got around with a mod-chip. A proprietary media format solves that problem, as writers are simply non-existant, meaning large-scale piracy is virtually impossible.
    • The very problem is that UMD Movies ARE selling, according to some, too well.

      I agree that they are too stiffly priced. Some UMD movies are decently priced but even those should be cheaper.

      To me, the convenience of portability doesn't balance out the lower resolution (little better than VCD), fewer features and the complete inability to display them on a screen other than a PSP's is pretty limiting.
    • UMD movies (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LionMage (318500)
      Funny, but here in Phoenix, Arizona, the UMD movies are typically retailing for $14 (though at least one store was selling House of Flying Daggers on UMD for $20). I even think I've seen one or two places carry UMD video for under $14.

      Most DVDs here retail for about $20 or slightly more. It would be foolhardy to market the UMD versions of these movies for more than the DVD version, considering that DVD gives you extra bonus features as well as higher resolution. (This, despite Sony's claim on the UMD mo
  • Great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    Oh great! Now I need three copies of Spiderman 2 for each device in my house! A VHS for my old TV, a DVD for my other television with a DVD player, and now I need to buy another copy of it for my PSP! Joy, I love buying the same product three times!

    But really, can we decide on one format, instead of pumping out a new format for every single device?
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