Sony systems get movie downloads

Studios on board to bring films to PlayStation 3, PSP

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

The new service is being integrated into the online PlayStation Store beginning this week, SECA president and COO Jack Tretton told reporters at a press event on the eve of 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 movies rentals will be $2.99-$5.99 and movie purchases will be $9.99-$14.99. While Microsoft announced a deal with Netflix to stream movies through the 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 PlayStation 3, it can then be transferred and played on the PSP handheld 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 consumer to begin watching a film even before the full 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.