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PSP gets Lions' share of UMD films

Lions Gate says it will release 12 films on UMD, including Open Water, Saw and Total Recall.

Support for Sony's proprietary Universal Media Disc (UMD) film format received another boost this week as Lions Gate Entertainment president Steve Beeks said his company would release 12 UMD films.

Among them will be releases both old and new. At the more recent end of the spectrum, low-budget thriller Open Water will be joined by grisly horror flick Saw and comic book adaptation The Punisher. Older films will include Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Total Recall and Rambo: First Blood, with more titles still to be named.

"The typical buyer of the machine - a young male gamer - also happens to be the core demographic to whom our films generally appeal," Beeks told the Hollywood Reporter. "So it dovetails nicely not only with out past and current theatrical releasing but also with our library, where we have a lot of action/special effects films."

In related news, Capcom this week announced in Japan that it would release the original Resident Evil film on UMD on 13th April - the same day that Sony releases the second film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

Although concerns still abounds over the likely popularity of UMD in a market now saturated by seemingly cheaper and more capacious DVD titles, quite a large number of films have nevertheless been confirmed, perhaps in a bid to test the water.

Those include the likes of xXx, the aforementioned Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Once Upon A Time In Mexico and Hellboy, while copies of Spider-Man 2 will be bundled with the first one million PSP units sold in the States. Square Enix has also pledged to release CG movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children on UMD.

Sony plans to release films at monthly intervals, with more details expected in the aftermath of the US launch.

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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.

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