July 6th, 2007, 20:17 Posted By: Shrygue
via Games Industry
Sony's John Koller has said that the company remains committed to the UMD format despite suggestions that support from movie companies is waning.
Speaking to Pocket Gamer Koller, who is senior marketing manager for PSP, said, "We'll never walk away from our base. Whether it's movies or game content, third parties have an incredible opportunity to utilise it.
"UMD possesses many strengths, from size to form factor to portability," He continued. "Duplication of UMDs is much easier, cheaper than cartridges. We've really optimised time and cost by going with a disc-based format."
Koller's comments follow news that the most recent PSP firmware update includes an ISO loader which would allow users to play games stored on the Memory Stick. Some have speculated that Sony would be moving away from the UMD format in favor of downloadable content.
Koller admitted that the UMD has a downside. "There's no question the biggest weakness is related to porting games from other platforms. Publishers are concerned about the size of UMD because they can't cram a DVD game on to it," he said.
Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi told Pocket Gamer about a different kind of disadvantage: "The slowness of the seeking speed of UMD is a weakness," he stated, adding that "loading speed becomes a big problem for UMD".
While not specifically addressing the loading speed, Koller said "UMD is a unique medium to create games, and developers need to understand that when tackling the system."
"The future of UMD is bright," he proclaimed.
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