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Sony's Dille Defends UMD, Confirms PSP Video Download Service

Sony's Dille Defends UMD, Confirms PSP Video Download Service

July 24, 2007 | By Staff

July 24, 2007 | By Staff
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Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth new interview posted today, Sony's Peter Dille has been discussing the newly announced slimline PSP, defending the UMD movie format and confirming a PSP video download service is in development.

When asked about the new PSP revealed at E3, which is 33 percent lighter and 19 percent slimmer, Dille commented: "This new design addresses the load times to a certain degree. The internal memory has been improved, so the load times are improved."

However, the UMD movie format has come in for criticism, with many retailers and movie studios cutting back majorly on the format, and Dille admitted: "The movie issue you're referring to is really a function of our not handling communication with Hollywood terribly well. When the PSP came out, it was a new format, and as with a lot of new formats, what Hollywood does is back up the catalog and say, "Come on guys, let's release all this stuff on the new video format." Unfortunately, we didn't do a good enough job communicating to Hollywood about who was going to be buying a PSP."

He added: "This is a fake example, but it doesn't make sense to do On Golden Pond on the PSP, because that's not the demographic that's buying this thing. When we launched, there was a proliferation of UMD content, and it wasn't the best strategic fit with the demographic. Now we've done a better job of going back and interfacing with Hollywood and saying, "Look, here's what we're doing, and here's what makes sense." I think sense then, they've been a lot more selective in terms of what makes sense and what doesn't. You've seen people like Target come back on with UMD offerings. There have been some hiccups, but I think reports of the UMD's demise have been greatly exaggerated."

Later on in the same interview, Dille also addressed what might get 'on the fence' consumers to buy a PSP, commenting: "If you're interested in playing portable games and having access to video content and Internet access on a device, there's nothing to wait for. If that doesn't appeal to you and you're not going to be gaming on the go, you're probably not going to be convinced by this form factor."

He also commented: "I think what might convince those people would be the advent of a service that allows people to put content onto a PSP in an easier fashion. There's been a lot of speculation as to when we were going to offer a video download service for either the PS3 or the PSP, and I think that could be more of a killer application that could get people off the fence. I don't necessarily think that this will get us there yet."

However, when asked to clarify when the video download service would happen, Dille commented: "I don't have a problem bringing it up, but we didn't have any announcements about that at the show. What I can tell you is that we're working on it."

You can now read the entire interview with Dille, held at the recent E3 Summit, in which we discussed a host of issues, from Sony's difficulties with viral marketing, the PS3 price cut, to whether Nintendo platforms are still for kids.


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