June 26th, 2008, 23:36 Posted By: wraggster
Sony held a group business briefing in Tokyo today to share its plans for 2008 to 2010. Taking up a good chunk of that time was Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hirai, who introduced new non-game initiatives for the PlayStation brand.
The company's long awaited video on demand service will target PlayStation 3 and PSP, adding movies and television programs to the PlayStation Network on top of the current game content. Videos will be sold through a video store on the network and will be viewable both in download and streaming form.
America will get the first shot at the video service this summer. The program will then continue on to Japan and Europe.
While further details will be announced at E3 next month, sample images of the video store shown at the press conference resembled the current PlayStation Store, right down to windowed video previews of content. The sample store image had buttons allowing the user to toggle between video store and game store, suggesting that PS3 users will have to access just one main shop interface to get all their downloadable content.
Categories of video content in the sample images included "New Arrivals," "Movies," "Television," "Anime," "HD Only," "Rentals," "Purchase", and "Top Downloads." The sample images also listed pricing for a couple of titles: a Ghost Rider rental in HD at $5.99 and a Ghost Rider purchase copy in SD at $12.99. These prices are presumably unofficial.
PlayStation products are just the start for Sony's video plans. By 2010, Sony plans on expanding the download service to televisions, PCs, and mobile sets.
In addition to the new video service, Sony also unveiled a brand new initiative: Life with PlayStation. This new program will offer real time news updates and weather to PlayStation 3 users via an interactive globe interface. The globe interface displays recreations of the weather and shows headlines as you move to different locals. The headlines can be clicked on to open up more details in a browser window. Users can play music off their PS3 in the background as they use this service.
Future plans for the Life with PlayStation service could go beyond just the globe. Hirai mentioned the possibility of introducing a timeline interface for letting PS3 owners sort and view their photographs chronologically.
Sony also addressed the PlayStation Portable's multimedia functionality today. Sony will be expanding the portable's network functionality, and will at long last offer direct connection to the PlayStation Store some time this fiscal year.
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