Disney has become the first major studio to join Sony in releasing pics on the Japanese conglom’s new PlayStation Portable handheld vidgame device, but it may not be alone for long.
Paramount is currently in negotiations to release movies for the PSP. Such pics can be produced only in a proprietary format owned by Sony.
Mouse House, which is also the only major to back Sony’s high-def Blu-ray videodisc format, will release five titles this spring on mini-disc platform the Universal Media Disc.
Decision is a boost for Sony’s vidgame division, which is promoting PSP as a multimedia device that plays games, movies, music and photos.
Before this week’s announcement by Disney, Lions Gate was the only studio besides Sony to have announced plans for PSP movie releases.
Lions Gate hasn’t yet chosen between Sony’s Blu-ray and HD DVD, the high-definition DVD format backed by Warner Bros., Par, and Universal.
Disney will bow “National Treasure” simultaneously on PSP and standard DVD in May, with library titles “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Reign of Fire,” “Kill Bill Vol. 1” and “Hero” also seeing release in the spring.
Like Sony and Lions Gate, Disney is currently targeting titles at the young male demo that will likely make up the core aud for the PSP, which will bow March 24.
The studio has not determined pricing or how many other movies will be released. Latter will be determined by the success of the format, according to Buena Vista Home Entertainment prexy Bob Chapek.
Sony is including a mini-disc copy of “Spider-Man 2” with the first million PSP units shipped in the U.S. this month and will release new and catalog titles each month beginning in April.
Although some industry competitors suggest the Mouse House cut an overall deal with Sony to support both Blu-ray and PSP, Chapek said the decisions were unrelated, noting that PSP and Blu-ray are two separate divisions of Sony and asserting that there were no incentives offered to Disney for such an arrangement.