Studios onboard as Sony unveils movie downloads for PSPs

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Sony Computer Entertainment America on Tuesday unveiled a movie and TV download service for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable game system that will include content from Sony Pictures, Fox Film & Television, MGM, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount and Turner Entertainment.

The service is being integrated into the online PlayStation Store beginning this week, SECA president and COO Jack Tretton told reporters at a press event at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, adding that movies can be either rented or purchased and that some will be available in HD.

TV shows start at $1.99, Tretton said, adding that movie rentals will be $2.99-$5.99 and purchases will be $9.99-$14.99. While Microsoft announced a deal with Netflix to stream movies through its Xbox Live service at its E3 press event the day before, Tretton differentiated SCEA's service by noting that once a film is downloaded to the PS3, it can then be transferred and played on the PSP hand-held through a USB connection.

The PlayStation video store segments films by studio, genre, format or whether it's a rental or purchase and also features movie trailers.

Although a 120-minute film will take about an hour to completely download, a progressive download feature will allow consumers to begin watching a film before the download is complete.

Tretton said that Sony's gaming audience has downloaded more than 180 million pieces of content since the PlayStation Network debuted in November 2006. (partialdiff)
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