PSP owners are quietly praying the device takes off. Even though it's able to pump out those all important polygons at a faster rate and higher resolution than other handhelds on the market, Sony has a rough road ahead of them if they think they're going to swipe the last remaining bread basket in a field Nintendo has dominated since 1989. People who've weathered console wars in the past know many of the gaming industry's grim truths, but one reality is paramount: All that matters is the titles.
Think about it. The Dreamcast's oft-told sob story, the great graphics and hype - it fell flat on its face because Sega couldn't crack through the impenetrable wall of recognizable faces Sony and Nintendo managed to construct. Sony isn't quite Sega, though, and some well placed marketing has them in a position to at least contend with Nintendo's DS. Sony can win, too, because they have invented a better gimmick, or at least a more profitable one. Say what you will about the touch screen, but it's never going to play Debbie Does Dallas in widescreen resolution. Believe it or not, that's what it's all about.
On June 2, Japanese porn publisher Glay'z announced its intentions to produce porn using the UMD format. Most giggle at the idea, but others frantically google. When the porn industry moves, timid industries follow in the wake. Talking heads have claimed the porn industry was one of the final nails in the (Sony-designed) Betamax format's coffin. Pornographers, opting to use the cheaper VHS to distribute media, incentivized a seedy underbelly of married family men toward VHS players because, hey, you could watch both versions of Bambi. Porn became a welcome friend in many homes, with VHS players making an activity that used to require leaving the house far more personal, private, and affordable.
The porn industry's move to DVDs, an even cheaper technology, helped catapult sales of players early on, driving society toward optical media. Now that the UMD format is taking its first baby steps into a new multi-faceted playground, Sony has to rely on others to generate the credibility they need to stake a place in the yard. They don't just need Square-Enix's help, they need Vivid's.
Ghost in the Shell and Ninja Scroll are making their way to the PSP video; is it much of a stretch to include the animated schoolgirl porn that captivates so many? While it may sound like a smut rallying cry, it's just good business. If there's a demand, companies owe it to themselves to supply, right?
It's been reported UMD movie sales have topped 100,000, not counting the copies of Spider-Man 2 bundled with US collector's editions. American PSP sales are estimated at about 500,000, so at best one in five people have picked up a $20 flick to enjoy on a plane. While it's encouraging to people who purchased the PSP with UMDs in mind, it's definitely not cutting into DVD sales yet. Sony knows it, too. They've called Glay'z's move "undesirable," but they also haven't done anything to stop it. If porn's presence negatively affects sales, however, we might see quite a bit more commentary from Sony.
It's amazing how deeply porn penetrates western society. From quick snapshots on cell phone cameras to highly produced films illegal to make in 49 states, Americans can't keep themselves from watching people enjoy the company of others. Porn spreads liberally into new mediums in which to sell itself before most industries have even become aware of their very existence. Glay'z is the first pioneer, UMD's Davy Crocket, a company with the moxie to prove there's gold in gamers' pockets.