updated 02:05 pm EDT, Mon April 13, 2009
Sony May Drop UMD for PSP
Sony may drop its in-house UMD optical format with the release of Patapon 2 if an insider claim proves true. Citing a historically reliable source, Ars Technica says the new music game will only be downloadable and that any retail copies will simply have a coupon with a code to buy the game online. Buyers would also have a financial incentive to avoid the store as the game would cost only $15 online versus $20 in a shop.
The move would be a radical departure for Sony, which has continued to push UMD as a format even as Memory Sticks and other flash memory eclipsed UMD in storage while adding support for writing data. Sony has made classic PlayStation 1 games and a handful of PSP-specific games made available online, but has generally avoided making any major releases strictly downloadable.
Making a switch to downloaded games would remain consistent with Sony's own statements that it plans to shift more to online for games and corroborates more than one rumor which has hinted at a UMD-less PSP that may also have a slider design and a touchscreen.
Sony has declined to either confirm or deny Patapon 2's medium switch but says only that "nothing's been announced" to date.