Who wants another DVD format anyway?

That’s the question I asked when the PSP came out, with movie capabilities — provided you bought the movies in the new, incompatible UMD format. A post at the end of last week on Wired indicated one of the business challenges such a format switch provides: getting the retailers to stock the disks. If Wal-Mart doesn’t see the value in carrying your product, it’s a pretty clear indication that you might want to head back to the drawing board.

The comments thread on the story suggests additional problems, such as lack of any UMD burners or home UMD players on the market. The last time we had multiple content formats coexisting on the market, each had a clear place—records lived at home, cassettes went with you in the car or a Walkman—and more importantly you could copy from one to the other. Ever since then, every new technology that was marketed as an “alongside” format, rather than an out-and-out replacement, has gone by the wayside (see: MiniDisc and DAT, which only survive as recording media rather than content sales).