Sony launched its video-download service for the PlayStation 3 yesterday, as the game console wars move beyond better graphics and into blockbusters.
Sony’s new service will let users purchase or rent downloadable TV shows and movies from seven major studios including Sony (duh), Warner Bros., Fox, MGM and Disney. There seems to be some confusion about pricing though. According to the Sony press release, movies are available to rent for $2.99 up to $5.99, and available for purchase from $9.99 up to $14.99.
The release does not mention pricing for TV shows but says they will be available for rental as well as purchase. The Wall Street Journal reports that TV show rentals are priced at $1.99. If this is true then Sony has a leg up on rival Apple TV and iTunes, which don’t offer TV shows to rent. But Sony’s $1.99 price tag for TV shows is just as much as the purchase price through Apple. Someone with a PS3 care to shed a little light for us?
Game consoles are increasingly competing to become entertainment hubs. Sony’s announcement comes just a day after Microsoft said that it was hooking up with Netflix to stream movies to the Xbox. The NetfliXbox is like a buffet; users can stream all they want for their regular Netflix subscription — but the content won’t be in HD, and there will be limited new release titles. Sony’s service will be a la carte, will offer HD and downloaded content will be portable to the PSP for watching on-the-go.