updated 03:35 pm EDT, Tue July 15, 2008
Sony PS3 Video Service
Sony at its E3 press gathering this afternoon formally introduced a Video section to the console side of the PlayStation Store. Users of the PlayStation 3 will be able to buy or rent content from most major studios, including not just its own Sony Pictures but also Disney, Fox, NGM, Paramount, Warner, and other smaller studios. The company is uniquely one of the first to allow TV show purchases in HD as well as in standard definition, and prices them at $2 each; movies can be rented in either resolution for typical prices of $3 to $4, with permanent movie downloads selling for $10 to $20.
Also unique is a sideloading feature, Sony explains. Most if not all videos bought or rented through the PS3 can also be transferred to the PSP handheld and played there, giving consoles their first experience similar to stores such as iTunes, which (through the Apple TV) will now effectively compete with the PlayStation Network as a video platform.
On the TV-bound console, movies progressively download and will start playing shortly after the download begins; however, the console will lack the stream-only options of Microsoft's Xbox 360 Netflix service.
The service will go live this evening; Sony hasn't announced which countries will receive the service on launch beyond the US.