Sony, NBC Uni ink PlayStation Network deal

Universal films, NBC, Sci Fi shows available for download

SAN DIEGO -- Sony Computer Entertainment America and NBC Universal have struck a deal to make select Universal films and NBC and Sci Fi Channel TV programming available on the PlayStation Network.

The agreement will allow recent Universal Pictures and Focus Features films such as "Role Models," "Wanted," "Hellboy II," "Burn After Reading" and popular older films such as "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "The Big Lebowski" to be downloaded as either a rental or purchase and in either standard definition or HD format.

NBC and Sci Fi programming that can be downloaded beginning Tuesday include "The Office," "Heroes," "30 Rock," "Battlestar Galactica" and "Eureka."

New episodes of the shows will be available for download within 24 hours of airing. Both movies and TV content can be viewed on either the PlayStation 3 game console or PSP portable.

"Combining our celebrated film and TV content with the explosive appeal of Sony's gaming devices presents consumers with a terrific value proposition, granting them choice, flexibility and easy access to NBC Universal titles, all with a push of the button," said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Entertainment.

SCEA has been playing catch-up with rival Microsoft, whose Xbox Live service has emerged as not only the leading console-based platform for online game play, but also as strong platform for downloadable movies, TV and other content.

But Chen pointed out that since its launch as a video service last July, the PlayStation Network has quickly lined up the support of all the major film studios, making it a content destination for the entire family and not just hardcore gamers.