UMD movies near extinction as retailers close out stock

Posted by Mark Raby

Although Sony Pictures studios are still actively releasing movies on the PSP's proprietary format, they're running out of places to sell them.  Circuit City and DVD Empire are the latest stores to clear out existing stock by heavily marking down prices.

Circuit City has begun selling most of its UMD movies for $10 each, and this week is running a buy one get one free sale.  The chain has also recently been slow in updating its store shelves with new stock.

Other big box retailers have also severed their UMD purchasing contracts with Sony.  Target completely wiped out its stock last year, and many new Wal-Mart stores are not ordering any UMD movies at all.

DVDEmpire.com, formerly one of the biggest online proponents of UMD, is also now selling its entire stock at 50% off.  The site has also removed the UMD tab from the top of the page and replaced it with a hidden link on the side.

Though once reaching a huge cult-like fan base, the novelty of UMD movies died off quickly, likely because Sony set MSRP prices higher than most DVDs.  "It's awful. Sales are near zilch. It's another Sony bomb," A Universal exec was quoted as saying in a DailyTech.com story.  Universal is now fronting HD DVD, Sony's main competitor in the hi-def arena.