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Sony PlayStation (Games) Entertainment

Sony To Launch PS3 Video Download Service 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the competition-is-a-good-thing dept.
An anonymous reader points out a Los Angeles Times report that Sony is planning on making movies and TV shows available for download through the PS3 "as early as this summer." Sony hopes to make use of the roughly 4 million PS3s already sold in the US to compete with similar services such as XBox Live, which began offering video downloads over a year ago. "One of the service's greatest obstacles may be Sony's own culture. Sony Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Stringer has been battling a corporate silo mentality in which divisions within his company work in isolation, undermining new initiatives. The PlayStation group in Foster City, Calif., has been notoriously aloof. Once, a former executive said, it scuttled plans for a movie subscription service for the PlayStation Portable even though Sony Pictures had supported the initiative. What is more, the company, looking to safeguard its film, television and music holdings, has been an aggressive champion of copyright protection, often, critics suggest, at the cost of technological innovation."
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Sony To Launch PS3 Video Download Service

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  • Just one word (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spleen_blender (949762) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @03:41PM (#23175206)
  • by spazdor (902907) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @03:56PM (#23175332)
    This might be the service that finally puts net neutrality into perspective. Previously all the arguments about bandwidth availability and the ethics of throttling have conflated legitimate use with piracy. But the crux of the argument has been mostly hypothetical up until about now; A legal, widely deployed IP video-on-demand service will put the TV content providers into a very clear conflict of interests; it will be interesting to see how they plan on treating this traffic.
  • Re:Just one word (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Itchyeyes (908311) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @04:00PM (#23175362) Homepage
    Why would bandwidth be any more of a problem for the PS3 than it is for Xbox Live, iTunes Store, Netflix, Amazon Unbox, or any of the other contenders in the space?
  • FWIW, most large Japanese corporations try to silo their divisions as much as possible. Often, large companies will silo a division, until it becomes 'self sufficient' with it's own P&L, and then the parent company will spin it off into quasi-independence. This forces middle managers to be as efficient as possible, but obviously costs somewhat in corporate-wide leveraging-- leveraging usually comes in the form of cheap capital and maybe shared real estate, but not much beyond that.
  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @04:04PM (#23175414) Homepage Journal
    When this service finally launches it'll have DRM so restrictive you'll have trouble watching the movie. Their DRM will also be totally incompatible with any other implementation and completely unsupported by any non-Sony device.

    After a few months of low sales and unhappy customers, they'll write it off. They'll blame the failure on poorly educated consumers.

    Keep in mind that Sony Pictures and Sony Electronics are two different divisions of the same company. It's an unhappy marriage; what makes Pictures happy makes Electronics unhappy and vice versa. As these two opposing points of view seek to find consensus some very awkward compromises are made. See any Sony product that does anything with online digital media content for a good example.

    Of course, while Pictures and Electronics battle it out they aren't paying much attention to what their market is asking for. Look how long it took for them to finally support MP3 format in their portable music players; while they fiddled the market went a different way and - well, the people who made the Walkman famous aren't even on the radar in portable music players these days.

    Maybe they've learned something and they'll do this one right. Reality check: now many PSP owners are going to buy movies from Sony that can only be watched on the PSP? I suspect this product may not actually be profitable...

  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @04:04PM (#23175432) Homepage
    Why would this be the one to put it in perspective? Xbox Live Video Marketplace has been out for over a year, and there are more Xbox 360's in homes than there are PS3's. If lawmakers and lobbyists chose to ignore the Xbox 360 (not to mention the plethora of other online video providers) as a legitimate use of heavy bandwidth, the PS3 isn't even going to register as a blip on their radar.
  • Good move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tknd (979052) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @04:07PM (#23175476)

    I think this is a great move for Sony because it sets them up to move to digital downloads if the competition is fierce but also packages Blu-ray into the same device. Either way, they win the movie-rentals and movie-player game.

    Compared to something like the Apple TV, the PS3 is superior if Sony can push out their movie rental service soon. If the PS3 supported movie download rentals, you would have the best of both worlds in one device. Want to rent a (high def) movie from the store or netflix? Play it on your PS3. Want to rent a movie download? Play it on your PS3. It may sound funny, but I've been considering buying the PS3, not because of the game console features, but because of the movie download potential and the bluray player. Hell, if they had a PS3 that came with a remote instead of a controller, I'd probably buy that instead.

    Oh and BTW, the PS3 does run linux!

  • by Cheeko (165493) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @04:12PM (#23175508) Homepage Journal
    Indeed the best thing MS might have going for it was their eventual inclusion of Divx in their media connector.

    IF Sony pushes DRM as much as some suspect it will kill this before it even starts, as people won't be able to mix and match formats they have from various places.

    I never bothered with the MS content downloads or the iTunes downloads or any of the others, but I've sure as hell loaded up Divx-ed episodes of TV shows over my network to watch on my TV stored on my PC. Thats really the model Sony needs to compete with.
  • by dalmiroy2k (768278) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @04:21PM (#23175600)
    This is great news for people in developing countrys with little or no HDTV content available and download (pirated) HD content that can't be otherwise obtained, specially HD shows like Lost or T:TSCC.
    At least here in Argentina a lot of people have HDTV-ready TV sets, high-end PCs or next-gen consoles but we don't have HD supported cable, Directv or even a OTA digital tv format (We may get ATSC as standard next year).
    If we could get HD downloads for cheap (let's say $2 an episode) I would gladly pay it.
    Same thing for movies, imported from USA Blu-ray movies cost 60 dollars here and there is no local production like DVDs yet.

    Postdata: I know Apple TV/Itunes has been doing this for a few months, but this device it's not popular over here. PS3 is.

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