Sony, NBC Uni set to Play

Deal opens content for console-based platform

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

The agreement allows such recent Uni and Focus Features films as "Role Models," "Wanted," "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" and "Burn After Reading," as well as popular older titles including "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "The Big Lebowski," to be downloaded for rental or purchase in standard definition or HD.

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

New episodes of the shows will be available for download within 24 hours of airing. Movies and TV content can be viewed on the PlayStation 3 game console or PlayStation 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 the push of a button," said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms.

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 a strong platform for downloadable movies, TV and other content.

But PlayStation Store senior manager Grace Chen noted that since its July launch as a video service, the PlayStation Network has lined up the support of all major film studios, making it a content destination not only for hard-core gamers but also the entire family. (partialdiff)