Sony to open its PS3 and PSP video download service tonight (updated)

playstation video image

It’s all the rage: movie and TV show on-demand download services via the Web. Now we can add Sony to the ever-expanding list.

Sony unveiled its own movie/TV show on-demand download service for its PlayStation line of products today at the E3 Media and Business Summit. Sony made a point to note that the service will feature more than Sony-produced content, including movies and TV shows from Fox, MGM, Lions Gate, Warner, Disney, Paramount, Turner, and Funimation.

The U.S-only service, found through the PlayStation Network, will be live this evening. It’s been long-rumored that Sony was going to open an online video download service.

Standard-definition and high-definition rentals and purchases are available. Standard rentals start at $2.99, with high definition rentals at $5.99. TV shows can be purchased at $1.99 an episode, while movies can be purchased from $9.99 to $14.99.

See also: Netflix is finally coming to Xbox 360, which is getting a dashboard makeover and Mii-like avatars

As with any online video download service, downloads can take anywhere from an hour or more to complete. Sony rentals and purchases will be ready to play, however, after about a minute or two using progressive downloading.

A nice feature of the Sony movie and TV download service is that the content is also portable, meaning it can be legally transferred to a PlayStation Portable via the PlayStation 3 and a USB connection or the computer.

A few more details from the press release:

  • Disney content: Disney is offering rental only (anything to do with Apple’s Steve jobs, Disney’s majority shareholder?)
  • DRM: “Sony has also adopted Marlin Digital Rights Management technology, an open industry standard for protecting and managing digital content.”
  • Rental window: “Consumers who rent a movie from the video delivery service have 14 days to watch the content. Once content playback is started, consumers have a full 24 hours to enjoy their rental”.

Sony now joins everybody else with its own flavor of video download service. Microsoft announced yesterday its partnership with Netflix, which will not be available until later this year; and other online download players include Apple and the AppleTV, Netflix and Roku, Vudu, and the TiVo-Amazon Unbox partnership. Microsoft also has the Xbox 360 Live Video Marketplace.

Photo credit: Playstation blog via Flickr

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last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

6 Responses to “Sony to open its PS3 and PSP video download service tonight (updated)”

  1. Dave Zatz says:

    Between the cable companies, Apple TV Xbox, TiVo Unbox (SD), Netflix Roku (SD), and now the PS3 I wonder if Vudu is pretty much dead? They probably have the biggest selection (of SD, anyway) and the most movie-friendly interface but man it’s getting crowded.

  2. Steve O'Hear, editor says:

    @ Dave Zatz

    Agree – Vudu gets good reviews, especially for the UI. However, I’ve long thought that it’s up against it, considering you need to buy a single use set-top box just to enter the store. Other consumer boxes add more value, not just a video store e.g. gaming, media extender, support more than one web service etc. or are much, much cheaper.

  3. impspfan says:

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  4. Jaker says:

    Very nice post. This is exactly what I need. http://pspfaves.com

  5. I wish they have the service outside the US. Let’s hope they’ll make one soon. Then I can start downloading videos to the PSP.

  6. catherine29 says:

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