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Major film studios mull over UMD films

Fox, Universal and Paramount are the latest movie studios to be linked with Sony's UMD format, with Fox thought to be closest to committing to releasing its products for the PlayStation Portable.

The home video divisions of Fox, Universal Studios and Paramount are all entertaining the possibility of releasing films for PlayStation Portable using Sony's proprietary Universal Media Disc format, according to a trade report.

Buena Vista, Lions Gate and Sony Pictures have so far backed the format with a number of current and back catalogue releases. UMD films cost between $19.95 and $28.95 in the USA.

Now Video Business Online is reporting that Fox, Universal and Paramount are all considering UMD. Fox is said to be closest to committing - with an initial line-up that could consist of Dodgeball, Napoleon Dynamite, I Robot, Super Troopers and Predator - while Universal could get involved by mid-summer and Paramount is currently evaluating the format's potential.

Sony recently pledged a number of new UMD film releases including Bad Boys and The Grudge, with films like Resident Evil, Starship Troopers and Crouching Tiger already due out on June 28.

UMD plans for European PSP launch on September 1st are less certain, but Sony does plan to make Spider-Man 2 available on UMD. However, but unlike the US launch where it was bundled with the first million "Value Packs", PSP buyers will have to register on http://www.yourpsp.com within a limited timeframe to secure it.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.