Blu-ray may be a bit of a bummer, but in its first year, the Sony PlayStation Network (s SNE) has delivered more than 500 million pieces of digital content to PlayStation 3 and PSP devices, reports Variety. This figure covers purchases and rentals of movies, TV shows and original programming.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how that 500 million breaks down to see exactly what types of programming the PlayStation sets are paying for, but at least the half-a-billion mark is a start.
Digital downloads have been a bit of a conundrum for the Hollywood studios. They know distribution is moving in that direction, but revenues from downloads have been tiny and studios have to manage any cannibalization of lucrative DVD sales. Though it looks like we may be turning a corner. The Digital Entertainment Group reported that digital distribution was up 21 percent in the first half of this year, generating $968 million, compared with $407 million in Blu-ray sales.
Game consoles are the most popular device for digital delivery of web-based video to TV sets, according to recent research from In-Stat, a trend that will continue through 2013. By that time, In-Stat predicts that the revenues generated by web-to-TV video services will hit $2.9 billion.
Of course, Sony isn’t alone in its quest to dominate digital video delivery in the living room. Microsoft (s msft) is set to roll out a bunch of new video features to its Xbox LIVE service this fall, some of which will be available in preview (for the lucky ducks with access) starting this Monday. We’ll be tuning in next week to report on some of the new video goodies that will be unveiled, including:
- Movie parties, which allow friends to sit in a virtual theater to watch video together.
- Queue management, so users can manage their Netflix (s nflx) queue from their couch.
- Enhanced playback, to smooth out some of the streaming bumps when bandwidth fluctuates.