Sony Still Working on Video Distribution Service

By: colourofnight posted at Jul 10, 2007 1:42 am

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Sony's droppin' E3 bombs today. By now, of course, you've heard the big news -- the incoming PS3 price cut confirmed as of this morning.
But, while your ears were ringing from the aftershock of that one, it's quite possible you might have missed Sony's other revelation -- a "video-on-demand" service designed to pipe downloadable television shows and movies to your console in much the same fashion as Xbox Live's video marketplace. Suddenly, that 80GB hard drive makes a little more sense.

Word of the video service comes by way of an unnamed Sony spokesperson, recently interviewed by Newsweek's N'Gai Croal. From the article:

"The Sony spokesperson indicated that the 80 gigabyte PS3, already available in Korea, is necessary because of SCEA's ambitions plans for downloadable content. These plans [...] include not only such upcoming online-only games as Warhawk and SOCOM: Confrontation, but also an in-the-works video download service that will let PS3 owners download high-definition movies and TV shows, just as Xbox 360 owners have been able to do since November 2006.

While Sony will signal its intentions for the service during its E3 press conference on Wednesday morning, it won't go into any more details than that, likely because Sony's still furiously working away at the guts of the service."

Obviously no pricing model (or even a name) has been announced, but considering the massive back catalogue of film and TV currently sitting around in storage in the Sony vaults, something like this was bound to come along eventually. Kaz Hirai always promised that we'd see the PS3 justify that hefty price tag at the point where it became the central focus of the livingroom.

With any luck (and some skillful management on Sony's part) the service should be able to mature enough to rival Microsoft's video marketplace -- a service which has been extremely successful since its launch over 1 year ago. Back in March, Microsoft was commenting that the video marketplace had grown over 400% since its inception and was currently the #2 destination for digital distribution of video content, after iTunes.

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