Sony PSP: Frustratingly Beautiful

Steep Ticket

The problem arises from the console's multimedia pretensions. Aside from gaming, the other use for the PSP will be watching movies, especially given the superb screen, which we'll get back to momentarily. But there's the rub: you'll need to buy movies on UMD media separately, and the price is currently around $15 a pop. That means you'll pay that price for a movie you can watch only on a portable console, since the PSP doesn't even have a TV output.

Not only is the cost going to be high, you'll have to wait for the movie to come out on UMD. Only a handful are available so far, and if sales of UMD movies don't take off, it's unlikely that distributors will invest in putting their movies on this medium. For the moment, in any case, the only ones you can find are from Sony Pictures. A better solution for distribution will really have to be found - for example, selling the DVD and the UMD of the same movie in a bundle for just a few dollars more.

Sony nevertheless wants this format to become a standard for storage. That's why they've already defined several profiles. Obviously there's the game profile and one for video, but there's also another for audio. Using Sony's AVC video codec, it's possible to store up to two hours of video with quality equivalent to DVD, and four hours will fit using standard quality, which is still noticeably better than VHS. Sony is also working on other products that reportedly will use UMD, such as audio and video players.

Create a new thread in the UK Article comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
1 comment
Comment from the forums