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Did/does anyone actually watch UMD on their PSP?
22-Jul-21 12:57am
#1
theJaw
GameTZ Subscriber Triple Gold Good Trader

I have a fond memory from my high school days, sitting on my bed in my pitch black room watching the Bruce Willis movie "Hostage" via UMD on my PSP 1000. I may have had a computer up there by that time, but streaming didn't exist and downloading full movies was a luxury my family's internet provider couldn't afford. Most cell phones' most interesting app was still the Snake game. I remember being in awe at watching a full movie from the comfort of my bed, the screen 6 inches in front of my face, and feeling like I was experiencing the pinnacle of modern technology.

Obviously that feeling came and went fast, but I recently got another copy of the Hostage UMD and watched it. Usually attempts at recreating little experiences like this are pointless but surprisingly watching an action thriller on a tiny screen was a lot more satisfying of an experience than I expected it'd be. Something about watching a movie on the PSP transports me back in time instantly and nothing about the silly circumstances required to watch a movie this way bothers me at all.

It made me wonder what other folks' opinions were when it came to the UMD movie gimmick back in the day. Did anyone actually watch/collect UMD movies during the PSP's heyday? Did you at least give them a try? I definitely think I'll be trying to snag others just for the novelty of it.
22-Jul-21 1:34am
#2
egg
Double Gold Good Trader

I watched a few. Family Guy freakin sweet collection, Charlie's Angels, and some anime: Steamboy, Metropolis, Appleseed. I found the Family Guy one to be the most enjoyable.

It didn't really catch on with me but then again I'm not really into movies. I only gained mild interest in them later on purely out of the fact it was something neat the PSP could do. I assume most people myself included were put off by the fact umds were more expensive than dvds and almost as much as a game, so why not just get a game instead.
22-Jul-21 1:50am
#3
theJaw
GameTZ Subscriber Triple Gold Good Trader

I didn't even realize they were that expensive, that is pretty wild. I thought they'd be dirt cheap by now considering how obsolete are but some still tend to hold value it seems.
22-Jul-21 11:22am
#4
Kommie
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader

I always found it dumb how UMD means Universal Media Disc when nothing is Universal about them besides Universally only working on the PSP.
22-Jul-21 12:57pm
#5
PizzaTheHutt
GameTZ Subscriber Gold Good Trader Has Written 3 Reviews This user is on the site NOW (6 minutes ago)

I had some given to me by one of my sisters, I think she found them at a garage sale or something. I can't remember what they were, but I think there was one that was episodes of Beavis & Butt-head, Jackass, Family Guy and a few others that I'm forgetting. I think I watched maybe one or two. I just wasn't interested in it. I know I did watch Shrek the Third on my DS when I first got a flash cart and the PSP screen was definitely way better for watching videos on if there was no other options.

22-Jul-21 1:51pm
#6
Gypsy
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally

No.
22-Jul-21 2:12pm
#7
Archer
GameTZ Subscriber 500 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Has Written 1 Review

Never bought one myself. But I rented one from Gamefly. I think. Could have been another service. But I didn't enjoy the experience of watching a movie on the PSP. And that was the one and only time I ever did so.
22-Jul-21 2:21pm
#8
Scott
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 2 Reviews

We carried them at Circuit City when I worked there. I only remember actually selling a UMD movie one time.
22-Jul-21 5:08pm
#9
Shane12m
Triple Gold Good Trader

No, but I've never purchased movies or shows either (aside from a few anime) as once I've seen something I usually have no desire to see it again with some exceptions.
22-Jul-21 5:09pm
#10
Anxiouz
900 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader

At one point I bought a used bundle of movies for a flight. I watched 1 movie in each direction but that was it. I liked the idea of it, but it used up so much battery power that you usually had to be near an outlet. And if you're near an outlet you might be near a tv/dvd player where everything is all-around better. So I liked the novelty but only when traveling.
22-Jul-21 10:06pm
#11
gameboy1009
300 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally

I still collect them. I picked up a couple Troma umd's not to long ago for it. I also have some that I don't have on dvd or bluray. Depending the mood, I might watch it on the system, or use the cord to hook it to my TV and watch.
22-Jul-21 10:29pm
#12
theJaw
GameTZ Subscriber Triple Gold Good Trader

Kommie wrote:
I always found it dumb how UMD means Universal Media Disc when nothing is Universal about them besides Universally only working on the PSP.
haha yah in hindsight it was a silly name but I have to imagine Sony's end goal there was to get UMDs into standalone/other devices as "the next" alternative to DVD. I'm sure they figured debuting them on a relatively "state of the art" handheld version of the mega popular Playstation would have been enough but that was a big ol' whiff.
23-Jul-21 1:53am
#13
Best1989
Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Peru

I remember watching Superbad on my PSP and wanting to have a UMD collection, lol

There's a UMD release of Interstella 5555 that I wouldn't mind getting.
23-Jul-21 2:13am
#14
theJaw
GameTZ Subscriber Triple Gold Good Trader

To be fair, UMDs are sorta great design-wise. Both the "disc" and the cases are smaller, so they'd be a lot easier to store than DVDs or Blu Rays. They also have the little protective shells... I've never seen an issue with a scratched UMD and I imagine that's why. I feel like they're less fragile than normal discs which would have been nice for longevity if they caught on.

I think debuting them as a gimmick for the PSP is ultimately what stifled their "hook"... probably came off too much like GBA Video as opposed to something more like a legit DVD alternative.

But their weird history is why I appreciate them now tbh. I just find it interesting that this seemingly out-of-nowhere media format existed for such a short amount of time when the market was already blatantly heading down a different path. It isn't like VHS or vinyl, where it was "cutting edge" at any point... UMDs are just these odd things that existed in a real little window of time and have never been revisited.
23-Jul-21 4:25am
#15
egg
Double Gold Good Trader

The shell protects from scratches in theory but gets damaged very easily, which defeats the point. More pieces = more opportunities for breakage.
23-Jul-21 12:35pm
#16
Anxiouz
900 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader

You're talking about the plastic casing around the disc itself? I think I had only 1 movie where that plastic was still tight...everything else was split, cracked, etc.. But they did in fact do their job as the movies still played fine (as long as you can still remove it from the PSP).
24-Jul-21 4:52pm
#17
Renaissance2K
GameTZ Subscriber Triple Gold Good Trader Has Written 4 Reviews

I never bought any during the PSP heyday, but I don't think they're a terrible idea. The problem is that they didn't get widely adopted by other non-Sony studios for a myriad reasons: the discs themselves were fragile, Sony never released a compatible playback device other than the PSP, and third-parties were reluctant to adopt a format with an inherently low adoption rate that would force them to pay royalties to a competitor.

That, and most importantly, it was released right as digital video was starting to take off. During the PSP era, I'd rent movies en masse from Netflix, rip them, and encode them in PSP format so I could watch them on the train to work.

25-Jul-21 7:46am
#18
benstylus
GameTZ Subscriber GameTZ Full Moderator 500 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (9) Has Written 26 Reviews

PSP came out in 2005. PS3 and the introduction of Blu-Ray discs were in 2006. Netflix started its streaming service in 2007. Iphone also came out in 2007.

UMDs were always going to be a tough sell, even in 2005 since portable DVD players were a thing. DVDs were usually cheaper and could also be played on the big screen too.

That being said, apparently over 600 movies got released on UMD so someone was buying them.

25-Jul-21 5:18pm
#19
Missile
Double Gold Good Trader

By, i wanna say 2010, they were selling the things over at dollar tree, so yeah i did manage to watch some. They looked okay, but often were pretty basic, just the movie and some lang/sub options, nothing major.

I wished the anime UMDs all got past vol 1, having 1 part of Paranoia agent always chapped my ass when i was younger.

Oh, and the build quality on those things were ASS. If i took them anywhere the shell would inevitably crack apart and i had to buy replacements, they are not made to handle portability.
25-Jul-21 5:30pm
#20
theJaw
GameTZ Subscriber Triple Gold Good Trader

Seeing how many of yall had UMD cases crack or break on you is surprising, it never happened to me once. I thought they were decently durable.
25-Jul-21 5:33pm
#21
theJaw
GameTZ Subscriber Triple Gold Good Trader

benstylus wrote:
PSP came out in 2005. PS3 and the introduction of Blu-Ray discs were in 2006. Netflix started its streaming service in 2007. Iphone also came out in 2007.
Yeah and my peak PSP days were right when PSP was fresh, so I must have only had a DVD player in my room at that point. Without a large DVD collection and no streaming options, it helps me understand why I was so pumped to be watching Hostage on the PSP.

I also remember loading up the memory card with videos and getting similar satisfaction over being able to watch TV episodes on a handheld.

Did/does anyone actually watch UMD on their PSP?