Universal Media Disc

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Bottom side of a UMD

The Universal Media Disc(UMD) is a storage medium developed by Sony specifically for the PlayStation Portable to play games, movies and music on the PlayStation Portable.

The round storage medium (similar to a DVD) is protected by a plastic sleeve (caddy, cartridge similar to a floppy disk). Basically, the UMD also resembles Sony’s MiniDisc in design and dimensions, which was intended as a successor medium for the audio cassette.

The UMD is no longer used in the PlayStation Portable’s successor, PlayStation Vita, which was unveiled on January 27, 2011.[1]

Technical data

  • Case dimensions (WTH): Approx. 65 mm × 64 mm × 4.2 mm
  • Mass: approx. 19 g
  • Disc diameter: 60 mm
  • Maximum memory: 900 MB (single layer), also 1.8 GB (dual layer)
  • Laser wavelength: 660 nm (red laser)
  • Encryption: AES 128 bit

A UMD is a small DVD in ISO 9660 format. In May 2005, several release groups independently succeeded in reading UMD media. According to their information, UMD media are standard DVDs with a smaller diameter, which also results in a smaller capacity, encased in a protective plastic sleeve. So they can be read with the help of a USB connection between PSP and computer or PS3.[2]

Region codes

Most UMD movies are restricted to the region in which the movie is sold. In contrast, however, UMD games are region coded “0”, making them compatible with any PlayStation portable system. The system differs from the DVD region code only by assigning Latin America to region 1 instead of 4.

  • Region 0: Worldwide
  • Region 1: USA, Canada, U.S. territories, Latin America
  • Region 2: Europe, Japan, Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland, French Territories
  • Region 3: Republic of China (Taiwan), South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore
  • Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands
  • Region 5: Russia, Eastern Europe, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Mongolia and most of Africa
  • Region 6: People’s Republic of China


  • PSP games
  • UMD Audio
codec used: ATRAC3plus
  • UMD Video
codecs used: MPEG-4 (image), ATRAC3plus (sound), PNG (subtitles)

In the case of films, the UMDs are provided with a region code.

Games and movies that require a higher version of the PSP firmware basically have it included.


Web links

Commons: Universal Media Disc– Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. Sony introduces new PSP generation
  2. Universal Media Disc for Playstation Portable read out with DVD drives. In: Heise online.May 6,2005. Retrieved December 7, 2020.