By Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 10 Mar 2009
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has inked a deal with NBC Universal that allows owners of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable video game systems to download and stream movies and television programming in standard and high-definition via the PlayStation Network.
Beginning March 10 movie downloads of comedy Role Models and Oscar-winner Milk are available the same day as the Blu-ray and DVD releases. Other titles from Universal Pictures and Focus Features include Wanted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Death Race, The Incredible Hulk, Burn After Reading, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Big Lebowski, among others.
Download-to-own titles are available in standard definition from $9.99 or in both high and standard definition streaming from $1.99 (TV) and $2.99, respectively.
With NBC Universal content, the PlayStation Network now claims more than 1,300 movies and 4,500 TV shows. Users can transfer standard-definition content from the PS3 to PSP.
Studios and content holders increasingly view online gaming networks as conduits into consumer households to distribute movies and TV programming for incremental revenue to packaged media.
Launched in 2006 by Sony Corp., the PlayStation Network in February announced it had 20 million free registered users. By comparison Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Live has 17 million members who pay an annual $50 fee to socialize and access online games and Netflix’s streaming service.
“The home entertainment experience continues to evolve, and families are increasingly looking for activities within the home to power their leisure time,” said Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures digital platforms. “Sony’s gaming devices present consumers with a value proposition … and easy access to NBC Universal titles, all with a push of a button.”