If You Know the Name of the Movie You'd Like to See, Press ❑

Published on July 16, 2008
by John Paczkowski

Now that Sony has completed its transformation from disruptive innovator to struggling consumer electronics player, it’s embarking on its next big corporate makeover: reinvention as “a global provider of networked consumer electronics and entertainment.”

And so the company has begun offering a video-downloading service for its PlayStation 3 videogame console. Announcing the service at the gaming industry’s E3 conference in Los Angeles, Sony (SNE) said TV-show rentals will cost $1.99 per episode and movie rentals $2.99 to $5.99. Movie purchases will start at $9.99 and top out at $14.99. Not bad for content from Sony Pictures, Fox Film & Television (NWS), MGM (MGM), Lionsgate (LGF), Warner Bros. (TWX), Disney (DIS), Paramount (VIA) and Turner Entertainment (TWX). Certainly a compelling proposition for the 10 million or so PS3 users in the U.S., who no longer really need to buy an Apple TV (AAPL) or Netflix Player (NFLX) to deliver downloadable video to their TV sets.

Still, PlayStation Network’s video delivery service faces stiff competition from those rivals and from Microsoft (MSFT), which on Monday announced a deal with Netflix to stream movies over the Internet to the Xbox 360 game console. That said, Sony doesn’t seem much concerned with Microsoft, which it seems to view as a bit behind the curve. “The Xbox 360 is irrelevant in Japan, and in Europe PlayStation 3 sales have passed the Xbox 360,” said Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America. “We have a good dog fight in the U.S. but worldwide, when you look at a global footprint, the PS3 is the only console that can offer developers the ability to amortize costs over three markets. We’re looking at this as a marathon and we’re confident that the PlayStation 3 will win the crown.”

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