[This week, we ran an interview with Peter Dille on Gamasutra which included the Sony exec defending the UMD format, particularly commenting: "When we launched, there was a proliferation of UMD content [from the major studios], and it wasn't the best strategic fit with the demographic."
We subsequently received an email and a FedEx package from 'UMDmother', whose sons started Silver Platter, aka UMDLab, which called itself "the indie UMD label" and sold a variety of titles, including skateboard, snowboarding, and wrestling UMDs.
Looks like the label is basically dormant now, and the aforementioned 'UMDmother' is selling the current inventory via methods such as eBay. She feels strongly that, if it weren't for the glut of movies unsuitable for normal PSP players, UMD could have been something more than it currently is. And sure, this letter is in some ways a sales pitch, but it's also an impassioned and not completely implausible call for another look at UMDs. So we thought we'd reprint it here on GameSetWatch.]
"Your July 24, 2007 article with Sony's Peter Dille, defending the UMD, was brought to my attention because I am, officially, the First UMDmother.
My sons and their best friend, all industry professionals started a company 2 years ago whose philosophy was, and still is, consistent with what Peter Dille described in this article. They produced, acquired, and designed UMD videos with the PSP consumer in mind, and with the diverse abilities of the device in mind (we also have a unique infinity scroll menu), and sold them at prices that made sense. They have an extensive library of videos, with bonus footage, which unfortunately, even with a national distribution deal signed, never received the respect that they deserved.
The highest rated UMD on IGN.com's website (it's the first title you will see in bold when clicking on editors choice under UMD) is our DC Video UMD. Not from a major studio and never shown in a movie theater; it is a skateboarding video from DC Shoes that also won Best UMD at the 2006 Entertainment Media Expo DVD Awards. For that award we beat out Sin City, Wedding Crashers and the Ali G Show. . While awards and accolades are great, this company was started to bring the highest quality video content available to the PSP consumer.
Because of the early demise of the UMD movie, this company, with all of its awards was never able to get off the ground. I, a 56 year old suburban housewife and now UMDmother, found herself with an inventory of the highest rated UMD videos on the market and decided that I would, and could, sell them all.
And guess what?…Peter was right…there is a demand for these UMD videos produced with the PSP consumer in mind. I sell them on the internet, I sell to gamers, I sell to skateboarders, new school skiers, snowboarders, jiu jitsu enthusiasts. I sell to mothers as gifts, I sell to deployed US military personal.
I sell to their families living on US bases who send them overseas. I have sent our titles around the world (by the way, our UMDs are region free…we even thought that through.) I sell regularly in Canada, the UK and Australia as well as Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands and Malta just to name a few.
The backlash from the glut of overpriced and inappropriate UMD movies released scared away any potential retailer before our UMDs could achieve market penetration. As the gamer consumer became insulted with the content and price of movies offered on UMD, retailers wanted nothing to do with UMD movies. What I am getting at is that I know we have exactly what the PSP owner is looking for.
I am appealing to you to get our titles the attention they deserve. Our UMDs are the perfect example of what can be done when the PSP demographic, and the PSP's many available applications are taken into consideration in the development of a UMD.
Peter Dille was clear what he thinks about the future of UMDs. It looks to me like our titles and his vision are one and the same; a perfect match. What we need now is for Sony to see their vision realized in our UMDs and give us a fighting chance."