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Sony Readying PlayStation Network to Deliver Video

19 Oct, 2007 By: John Gaudiosi

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) is working with Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) on the digital distribution network that will bring movies, TV shows and music to PlayStation 3 gamers, according to a source inside the company.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Sony CEO Howard Stringer talked about this new infrastructure, saying it's a combined effort between Japan (SCE is based in Tokyo) and the United States (SOE is based in San Diego) that will distribute video via the PlayStation Network into the PlayStation Portable and beyond.

“We are building a software infrastructure to distribute video and music, more particularly video, through the PlayStation Network,” Stringer said in the interview. “We are trying to get our devices to talk to each other efficiently. PlayStation Network should migrate from gadget to gadget. But initially it starts with PlayStation devices and then to TV and beyond. That's the goal.”

Sony just shipped a new slim PSP that connects directly to TVs, which will allow downloaded entertainment content to be watched on the television. At the past two E3 shows, Sony has emphasized the ability to share content from a PS3 or PC to a PSP. Games already can be shared, as can downloaded files such as movies. But once the new entertainment distribution channel is deployed, Sony will sell content directly to gamers.

Stringer did not pinpoint a launch but said the company will know more about the functionality of the service early in 2008. Sony recently delayed the launch of PlayStation Home from this year until spring 2008.

Despite owning movie, music and TV studios and all of their content, Sony has lagged behind Microsoft and its Xbox Live Video Marketplace, which offers movie rentals and TV shows for purchase in high definition. Most of the major Hollywood studios support Microsoft's digital distribution channel, but Sony Pictures is not one of them.

According to a source within Sony, when SCE and SOE unveil the new digital distribution platform, Sony Pictures will be on board, as will other Hollywood movie studios.

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