One of Sony's flagship technologies has been threatened by Hollywood's leading studios after sales of UMD movies failed to get off the ground.

Gamespy is reporting that Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures have completely halted production of movies in the UMD format, amidst speculation over Walmart's future in the UMD business.

Paramount Pictures spokesperson Brenda Ciccone said: "We continue to evaluate the PSP platform for each title, and if it makes sense for business reasons and the target audience, we will release them."

She added: "Our focus right now is much more aimed at HD at the moment, though."

Image Entertainment will too be burying their involvement with UMD, and both 20th Century Fox and Buena Vista Home Entertainment have confirmed their intention to cut back on the titles released for the platform.

Both the release of Apple's video-capable iPod in Q3 of 2005, and the falling interest in the year-old technology seem to have contributed to the downfall of UMD. There was also the issue of cost, with many movies costing less to purchase on the industry-standard DVD platform and the ability to convert existing movies to PSP format.

Sony have admitted the technology is in decline and hope to spark new interest next week when they enter talks with Hollywood's finest over the possibility of linking the PSP to television sets.

Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment said: "We're hoping the format's going to be reinvigorated with next-generation capability that may include living-room or normal television playback."

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