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Summary:

Sony’s Playstation Network is now carrying HD movies from 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros., the company announced today. Sony previously negotiated similar agreements with Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and the company was quick to point out in today’s announcement that […]

Sony’s Playstation Network is now carrying HD movies from 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros., the company announced today. Sony previously negotiated similar agreements with Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and the company was quick to point out in today’s announcement that this marks the first time a game console-based service has signed up an online video platform is offering HD downloads for sale from all six majors.

Sony has been offering HD downloads through the PS3 ever since it launched the Playstation Network’s movie download section almost two years ago. Playstation users also have access to Netflix VOD through a pop-in disc. Sony recently announced plans to extend the download platform to Bravia TVs, Sony PCs and other connected devices. It also plans to extend its new HD line-up to the UK, France, Germany, and Spain soon.

The Playstation Network currently offers access to more than 2,900 movies and 17,800 TV episodes, and over 1000 of the movie titles are available for sale or rent in HD. Sony told us today that it has delivered more than 829 million downloads worldwide since the launch of the Playstation Network, but those numbers also include free and paid-for games and game demos as well as digital comics.

The PS3 may be the first one to get HD content from all six major studios, but it’s not the only one trying to bring HD content to the living room. Sony is squarely competing with Microsoft, which has been busy forging content deals with big and small studios alike for its Xbox Live service. Xbox users have been able to stream videos in 1080p since late last year, and the New York Times reported in January that company is in negotiations to bring live content from Disney and ESPN to the Xbox.

Related content on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

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  1. I wonder who is going to be the first site to integrate tracking of downloads and streaming from PS3 and XBOX, each of the major online video sites, ITunes, Hulu, Amazon, and each of the major sites through a single integrated reporting and analytics tool. It is something that is definitely needed and the studios have been asking for this for a long time. Tracking across all of these channels is fragmented right now, and Nielsen has not made much headway. Rentrak is working hard at this, but it remains to be seen whether they will get all the necessary points of tracking and make it valuable to the usr. It is really critical to the content producer and the information can be invaluable. Stay tuned.

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  2. Microsoft also has movies from all six studios in 1080p/HD. Fox was added a few weeks back and Sony was added I believe late last year. Not all movies are available as HD purchases, but all are instant-on streamable.

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