PS3 nears half a million Aussie sales; free music streaming service detailed

PlayStation 3 nears 500,000 sales mark down under; ad-supported music video streaming service detailed; new PSP hardware SKUs and games announced.

Sony has long touted that its PlayStation 3 is more than just a games machine. At the Leipzig Games Convention last year, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced that it would be bringing UK music video streaming service VidZone to the PS3, with plans for a trial to begin in early 2009. At a media event held today, Sony unveiled more details on the service and gave an indication of what to expect when it launches in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Australia sometime in June this year.

The VidZone service, which will be available through the music menu system of the PlayStation’s XMB after a firmware update, will be free to download and use and will give users access to music videos from a variety of artists. Sony reps at the event were unable to tell GameSpot which music labels are confirmed to contribute content, but they did indicate that it will be more than just Sony BMG and will include other large players as well as indie labels. Targeted advertising in the form of banner ads will supplement the cost of the service, which will be visible in both windowed and full-screen views. Sony confirmed that there are no plans to offer a premium or subscription-based service to disable the ads.

VidZone will allow users to browse music by artists, songs, and genres, as well as create custom playlists for continuous play. A quick tour of the service showed acts such as Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian and Beyonce, the latter artist having 22 tracks available for streaming. Sony announced that it will offer more than 10,000 tracks at launch, with plans to update content on a weekly basis.

Each video clip has been specifically encoded and optimised for the PlayStation 3 hardware, Sony claims, and while the service will gauge and serve content based on the user’s Internet connection speed with video quality scaled to avoid stuttering, local caching will be offered for all regions. Sony reps were unable to indicate average stream file sizes but suggested that even meagre Australian broadband connections should suffice to stream standard-definition videos. The service will not be available in high definition.

Sony also used today’s media event to update its local console sales figures and roadmap, announcing that the PlayStation 3 has almost hit the half-million-units-sold mark down under. In February this year Sony announced that it had a total Australian PlayStation 3 install base in excess of 460,000 units.

Sony Computer Entertainment Australia's managing director, Michael Ephraim, confirmed that Sony was “three to four thousand [units] short of 500,000.” The figure includes 70,000 units given away as part of its Bravia LCD television promotion and puts Sony within striking distance of Microsoft's most recent 537,000-unit sales figure. The company also boasts that 50 percent of the PS3 units sold have been taken online using the PlayStation Network.

Finally, the company announced that Australia will receive blue and red colour variants of its PlayStation Portable sometime between June and July this year. No price points were revealed, but the new models will coincide with the launch of two PSP-exclusive sports titles specific to the Australian market: AFL Challenge and Rugby League Challenge.

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38 comments
lcscjat
lcscjat

I took PS3 as it annoyed me that XBOX required so many accessories. PS3 has Bluray. A bluray player costs $300+ as it is, hence the price is what it should be. Sony all the way.

hot_shot_9
hot_shot_9

Superdynamite is right... As long as sony keep there services free they will keep selling Thats great, free internet browser, free demos, free internet gaming, now a free music service Sony will take the lead because of the things it does for its customers.. I dont care that you could buy 2 360s(the crappy 1s)with the price of 1 ps3.... Sony just take care of your customers.... You rock

Solid-CELL
Solid-CELL

"PS3 that does my homework?" lolz thats the g@yest thing i ever heard :lol:

AlphaCommando
AlphaCommando

Wow, I don't think I'll ever need to turn off my PS3 again. Especially when PlayTV comes out. What will they think of next, a PS3 that does my homework?

AlphaCommando
AlphaCommando

@bennae66 True, it's always fun doing the robot in a Nite Owl costume though. Oh and Xi is actually alright.

superdynamite
superdynamite

I don't mind the ads, just keep the service FREE. FREE is the name of the game. PSN - FREE - PSN - FREE.

bennae66
bennae66

haha indeed. spending real money on virtual items is a discrace! i have used home 5 times total. each when a friend comes over and i wish to show thjem what a mockery it is. i love my wipeout hd, and flower but home is a joke.

aaronobst
aaronobst

@ bennae66 Kids ask parents for a console, parents want cheap, the 360 is cheap. Also I don't use HOME so I wouldn't know... Spending real money on virtual items is beyond retarded

bennae66
bennae66

i thought the coffee references were quite funny. still, is this a system wars post? i find less screaming kiddies on live since most need a credit card to ue the service. on playstation home, there are homies hanging out in the shopping mall! i go to the shops to buy my food, a game or two, and maybe get a haircut. i walk past homies with caps on backwards in the shops. i come home and log into ps home, to find them doing EXACTLY the same thing. its really quite hillarious! has anyone else noticed this? one even had rap music pounding from an invisible boom box! tell me these kids are over 18.

aaronobst
aaronobst

@ benboz Your silly little coffee network references are cute at best, but I play on both networks and I can honestly say that there is no difference in lag the only difference is LIVE's screaming kiddies and PSN's price

bennae66
bennae66

quit complaining. both systems are good. ps3 is overpriced but has free net, wireless and bluray. 360 is cheaper, has much better online, and a brilliant media centre extender (for anyone who owns a pc and a 360, get your ass into linking them ASAP! to watch all your pc media on your plasma in the loungerrom is brilliant! and cutom soundtracks in game from pc..) i own BOTH machines but i diddnt realise this was a system wars forum post.

benboz
benboz

Finally, a rugby league game for the PSP. I have waited forever for this game to come on the PSP. Also, Xbox 360 accessories don't cost that much. I rather pay for a heaps better online service for Xbox Live than laggy PS Network. It's like I rather pay for a better coffee than a crap coffee. All you PS3 people all pay for a crap coffee.

kkevguy47k
kkevguy47k

@chimpanchu that is exactly what i try to have people see. but they are ignorant and don't realize the truth. xbox accessories cost tons. and ps3 has third party accessory support, along with high quality 1st party support thats still cheaper than xbox.

chimpanchu
chimpanchu

PS3 maybe expensive at first glance. But if anyone bother to investigate further than the initial cost, they'll soon realise how cheap the console is with the hw/sw capabilities and so much free stuff. Whereas, you maybe paying cheaper for Xbox console at the beginning, but you will be forced to pay ridiculous price for online play, peripherals and other extra stuffs which only few of them comes free.

Payback7
Payback7

I'm a Nintendo fan through and through. But I've always enjoyed games on the Playstation and I can see myself really enjoying the games on the PS3. If only Nintendo would bring some MORE RPG'S to their system though!! That's one thing the playstation brand has always had an edge with - the RPG's. :) Anyway Congrats Sony!

snooker8th
snooker8th

wow!! I had no idea they had caught up so much.. and they didn't have to reduce below cost to do it! AFL Challenge and Rugby League should def come to PS3 as well.. just slap some high def graphics on

gnrlstuart
gnrlstuart

great, sounds like the aussies deserve some exclusive stuff. im sick of everything on xbox going to america. like tv shows, music videos, netflix. MS really dont care about the rest of the world. keep up the good work sony.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

ps3 may be expensive, but its worth every penny

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

don't feel angry if your from the us, you have the video delivery service

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

The PS3 just delivers new and exciting things to us one after another. It had a slow start but now it has certainly become the console to own!

BladeTrinity114
BladeTrinity114

I agree with everyone else, its good to see UK getting stuff for PS3. Yes America is a much bigger country, but we should'nt be shafted because of our size. We are an important country!

AstroChimp83
AstroChimp83

It's a first! A situation where the UK doesn't get screwed on the latest gaming stuff. Cheers, mates.

coruscant
coruscant

As a UK PS3-er it's nice to see SCEE ramping up their game with new services e.t.c

MassacreMonk
MassacreMonk

I'm still waiting for the video store here in Canada, what's taking so long. By the time this service see's the light of day over here, PS3 will be at the end of the life cycle. @_____@.

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Sounds good for PS3 users. Maybe they could drop the PS3 price now too?

Patimo1
Patimo1

That's good sales for the PS3, since it came out more than year after Xbox 360 in Australia and has almost equaled its sales.

the_sorrow_MGS_
the_sorrow_MGS_

It may be the most expensive console but it is clearly the best value for money.

halo2mad12345
halo2mad12345

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jasopan
jasopan

Sounds good, Sony is the ****!

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

its always sony sony sony..... they offer so much for free its unbelieveable......but theres still ppl crying about the consoles price.....god help them.

joos2000
joos2000

I bought it just as a decent bluray player, only to discover it is so much more. Mediabox front-end, I play most of my games on it and now music video's. Here's hoping there will be plenty of metal music as well as the obvious daytime radio offerings.

HavQ-san
HavQ-san

Nice. To be honest, I couldn't care less which console sells more units, they're both freaking awesome. I'm happy for Sony, though. VidZone doesn't sound like my kind of thing, but it's good that the console's gaining more services.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

vidzone sounds good, a few ads wont bother me, a bit like spotify perhaps, which i also like.

Jono789
Jono789

people are finally starting to realise what the ps3 truly is... awesome!

xxThyLordxx
xxThyLordxx

people who don't like PS3 have poor taste.

metalgear-solid
metalgear-solid

Again, I have to give credit to you Aussies over there! You know the PS3 is a fantastic console (unlike Americans).