Playstation 3 Video Download Service Due In The Summer | Sony Needs Hollywood

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Playstation 3 Video Download ServiceThere were rumours back in April of a new video download service coming to the Playstation 3, with television and movie studio executives being given an early heads up of Sony’s plans.

Now, Sony have officially unveiled its plans for the download service, with Kaz Hirai and Howard Stringer detailing the plans for a summer launch at a Tokyo press conference.

USA Comes First

The new service will allow all owners of the Playstation 3 to download television programmes and movies to their console. The US will get the service first, before it is rolled out to Europe and Asia soon after.

Sony has already used the PS3 as a kind of trojan horse to get Blu-ray adopted as the high-definition DVD format of the future, and is now planning on doing the same for digital downloads as a viable distribution method.

Xbox Live Video Marketplace

The PS3 will now be going head-to-head with a similar service on the Xbox 360 called the Xbox Live Video Marketplace, which Microsoft put in place very early on in the console’s life. But the success of both depend entirely upon the content deals both companies manage to secure.

The Xbox Live Video Marketplace debuted in America in 2006, and struggled to secure any big-name studio backers initially, but now have Warner, Paramount, Fox, Disney, MGM, New Line, and most of the major TV networks on board.

Plans For The PSP

It seems that Sony have plans bigger than what Xbox Live currently offers though, with Variety claiming as well as the ubiquitous rentals, there are plans to include the PSP and Blu-ray in to the equation.

More details will likely emerge at the forthcoming E3 conference in July, where Sony will fill in the blanks, and hopefully be able to confirm some content partners beyond Sony Pictures. Microsoft is expected to announce a deal with Netflix which would enable Xbox 360 users to use the ‘Watch Now’ function.

Video game consoles are quickly becoming a viable and potentially lucrative distribution method for Internet video. The Xbox 360 has already proved its worth, and the Playstation 3 is now set to follow suit.

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