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All this activity around E3: a day after XBox announced its integration of Netflix’s (NSDQ: NFLX) online movie service, rival Sony is announcing some of its own services: it is launching a PlayStation 3 and its portable PSP-based video service, and said has signed on at least seven studios including Sony Pictures, Fox, MGM, Lions Gate, Warner Brothers, Disney (NYSE: DIS). Movies, TV programs and original programs will be available and of course would be watchable on TV. Movies will rent for $2.99 to $5.99 and TV shows for $1.99 an episode. For now, the service only has 300 full length movies and 1,200 TV episodes, the company said.
Disney will only offer movies for rent, while all others will offer for rental as well as downloads/sellthrough…Disney is closely aligned with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) on its iTunes movies service so its reticence with others is understandable. Meanwhile, Jack Tretton, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America, says it best: “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”….not the last part, but the fact that all these units could actually work together to launch something. That is an achievement at Sony (NYSE: SNE). For some more background on this infighting and what Howard Stringer had to overcome to make this launch happen, read this WSJ story.
More after the jump…
Something even more alien for Sony: it has adopted Marlin DRM technology, an open industry content standard…this won’t allows users to take it anywhere, but at least will allow content bought to be shared on PS3 and PSP systems, depending on the type of content purchased by the user. Not clear if it will be expanded to include other non-Sony devices in the future, but I doubt it. More details here.
Sony also said it is on target to sell 10 million PS3 units worldwide in its current fiscal year ending March. Meanwhile, it is is double the storage space on the $399 console will double to 80 GBs, without increasing the price…MSFT did the same as well in an announcement yesterday.
Earlier last month Sony pre-announced some parts, where it said that it would launch a video service that will work with its Bravia TVs, Playstations and handheld devices.