At the Sony E3 press conference this morning, hot on the heels of Microsoft's Netflix partnership announced yesterday, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today launched a new video delivery service on PlayStation Store for PS3 and PSP systems in the United States. The service will allow PSN users to download full-length movies, television shows, and original programming.
It's not just a "sometime in the future" type announcement either - the service will be available later today.
With nearly 300 full length movies and more than 1,200 TV episodes, many available in both standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD), PlayStation Network's video delivery service "pushes forward the PS3's entertainment capabilities and enhances PSP's status as a portable entertainment platform," according to Sony.
Video content for rental and sale will come from top movie studios including: 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Entertainment, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment. Also available for rent will be some titles from The Walt Disney Studios and a wide-ranging menu of popular titles from a variety of television partners.
Consumers who rent movies from the video delivery service will have 14 days to start watching them, and 24 hours to finish it (or watch it again) once playback is started.
Pricing for rental movies will range from US$2.99 ($4) to US$5.99 ($8), while purchasing movies will set you back between US$9.99 ($13) and US$14.99 ($20). The videos will be protected by Marlin Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, an open industry standard. Sony is reassuring users that the DRM will allow "flexible access" to content while ensuring the rights of studios are safely locked up.
Depending on the type of content, purchased movies will be able to be shared on multiple activated devices, including PS3 and PSP systems, per PSN account. Sony describes this as "one of the biggest value propositions" of the service: the ability to transfer digital content onto the PSP from the PS3.
"The connectivity between PS3 and PSP platforms provides a seamless solution for those looking for entertainment experiences on their own terms -- on the go or in their living room -- all with a new-found freedom of not having to worry about TV schedules, movie listings or viewing on a desktop PC," Sony claims.
Progressive downloading will allow videos to stream, so users can start watching shortly after the download begins. The PS3 also supports background download, allowing users to play games or access other PS3 features while videos are downloading.
"PlayStation Network's video delivery service capitalizes on the superior value and entertainment potential of PS3 and PSP -- not only for gaming enthusiasts, but also for the millions of consumers looking to buy the best, most versatile solution for their home entertainment system," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO, SCEA. "The collaboration of Sony's film, TV and entertainment business units, coupled with our hardware and content offerings, provide consumers with entertainment experiences unlike any on the market."
20th Century Fox's Jumper, Lionsgate's 3:10 to Yuma, MGM's Rocky, Paramount Pictures' Cloverfield, Sony Pictures' Spider-Man, and Warner Bros. Entertainment's 10,000 B.C. are a few of the titles which will be available to purchase at launch. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will also be available for rent. Additionally, Sony will be introducing original exclusive content such as Xam'd: Lost Memories, an anime series developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, delivered in SD and HD.