PSP to Connect in March

Sony will "revamp" its iTunes-esque service to distribute movies, videos, and games to its handheld.

When Sony launched its Connect music-download service in May 2004, it was with the obvious intention to try and take down Apple's iTunes service. Nearly 20 months later, iTunes is breaking records, while Connect--which uses Sony's proprietary, non-iPod-compatible ATRAC3 audio format--is used by only a tiny sliver of the market.

Yesterday evening at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sony executives announced that in March, the company will relaunch a new version of Connect. The revamped service will offer movies, video, and games for download onto Sony's multimedia and gaming portable, the PSP.

"Soon, Sony will be rewriting the rules once again," the company said in a statement. "The Connect service will enable you to download hundreds of videos, games, and TV shows as well as films and other content. You'll even be able to browse from a wide selection of books."

The mention of games raises the likelihood that Connect will have an Xbox Live Marketplace-like section which will let PSP owners download titles. Currently, games on Xbox Live Marketplace cost between $5 to $20 and feature classic arcade titles like Joust and new casual games like Hardwood Backgammon. However, Sony did not mention any specific titles.

No specific movie or video titles were mentioned either. But Sony, by virtue of owning the studios Columbia/Tristar and MGM, has a massive film and television catalog to draw from. Sony executives did not mention what movie and video downloads would cost. However, as Connect's music prices mirror those of iTunes--$0.99 per song--expect a pricing scheme similar to iTunes' video offerings, which go for $1.99 per music video or television show. Moviesquare, the movie-download site Sony currently runs in Japan, may also offer a clue. It offers more than 260 movies for the PSP, priced from 210 yen ($1.78) to 1,260 yen ($10.71) depending on the feature.

It appears Sony wants to emulate the success of iTunes' video venture, which has exceeded expectations, and Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace, which has seen four million downloads since it launched in November. However, one big issue may inhibit the growth of Connect's video and game service. While video iPods have 30GB or 60GB of storage built in and the Xbox 360 has a 20GB hard drive, the $249 PSP Value Pack comes with only a 32MB Memory Stick Duo, which is adequate only for game saves and very limited audio offerings. That means those who didn't pick up the $299 PSP Giga Pack over the holidays will have to purchase a separate high-storage Memory Stick Duo to be able to download PSP movies and games, which usually come on 1.8GB Universal Media Discs (UMD).

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Discussion

79 comments
dre_1287
dre_1287

YEAH THAT'S TRUE BUT THE BIGGER THE BETTER...AS LONG AS THEY DON'T LOSE FOCUS ON WHAT'S IMPORTANT...GAMES...

Agreb91
Agreb91

SONY give up your the PSP is a gaming device not an iPod.... quite trying to destroy everything else that you dont own and get some good games for the PSP.... which we dont have right now. So get back to work on video games.... not on how to destroy iTunes and the iPod.

meister_209
meister_209

every individuals have their different opinins on the sony psp and rightfully so/ however if my assessment is correct i not sure if it,s about the quantity more than the quality of the games that should be developed. probably because most gaming developers don,t try their best to enhance the graphics or audio by using the psp,s full potential based on the game that,s selected in various genre,s to be sold. while their handheld device may not seem like the holy grail end all media device it,s only a matter of time if they reap what they sow. sub.209

Pab10
Pab10

I personally think it is an excellent idea! The multimedia capabilities for the psp surpass those for the iPod. (I have an iPod but haven't been using it since I bought my psp.) The integration to the Connect music store is a superb move given that it broadens the content available for the device in a legal manner. I enjoy my psp greatly and am looking forward to games like Daxter, Siphon Filter, Gran Turismo. Hey, maybe we will get a sequel to God if War or Resident Evil on the handheld! - Happy Gaming

yardie_gamer
yardie_gamer

I completely agree Sony is just feeling the teething pains of entering into a new market and are trying to feel around to see what angles to best focus on. I love my PSP!!! and in all honesty if it didn't have video and MP3 support I wouldn't think about getting one. I was thinking about an iPod but then I saw the PSP, cheaper, albeit with less storage, but I don't listen to 20GB of music anyway. I like to have a choice, Listen my favourite tracks while on the road by hooking it up to the car, watch a movie or some video while on a long trip, store a digital photo album of family and friends for when I am on vacation, or Pound away at my nice looking Portable games or even check my email while out of town shopping. Sony gives me options and I like that. Also keep in mind that not everyone is a hard-core gamer like me or you, there are casual gamers out there who will play games occasionally, but will also listen to music and browse the net or watch a movie on the go. Sony might be trying to tap into this market as well, and I believe that is a good move on their part. Sony Is a big conglomerate and we as sony customers have been spoilt by the high level of quality and experience that sony brings, but in this new marker, I believe they are doing R and D as we speak and making modification to suit their loyal and very demanding consumer base.

goldfantasy
goldfantasy

PSP is a cool portable machine, DS is also a nice machine, but they are different, first the DS has original games, but are directed to kids only few games are for teens, in the other hand PSP has some cool games, but most of the games are stupid remakes of PS2 games. I own a PSP and i will sell it if Sony doesn't make good games for it.

civilmiddle88
civilmiddle88

pelotonking has a very good point, in the first and second quarter of 05 everyone was dissing the DS. It takes time for developers to get the msot out of any console. And also why is it that we are screeming for more memory? I remember when everyone was crying about the ps2 not having a HD. I mean the Xbox had one! So sony makes one and no one bought it! Its kinda nice playing vids and tunes on my psp but mostly I play games. And there are lots of good ones, Has no one played burnout or SoCOM? I might use the new service some but why watch and listen when you can play?

rocker99
rocker99

I own a PSP and there are some ok games, but they all have glitchs that can b really annoying. If Sony actually does this connect thing and its a partial sucess , I think they should put old PS1games on it so we can download the onto our PSPs. I Think FF VII would b awesome for PSP !

Montyalbo
Montyalbo

cmon guys cut sony some slack they're still a newcomer to the handheld gaming platform and nintendo had years of experience so you really cannot compare the two

Lincthecommande
Lincthecommande

You know if sony just made storage alot cheaper, maybe this idea will work...But since it costs 200 bucks for 2 gigs of storage it's likely that this idea is going to die.....

pelotonking
pelotonking

You guys talk about Sony needing to "concentrate" on one thing, such as PSP games, memory cost, or the ps3...Sony's a pretty big company, and I think they can afford to have a few projects going on at once. Also, I wanted to point out a few FACTS...imagine that! A) The ipod battery only lasts for 2 hours when playing video. B) 4 and 8 gb memory sticks have been announced. C) The DS has been available in the US for ~5 months longer than the PSP, giving developers more time to make the great games we are just now seeing for the ds.

hegotjokes4
hegotjokes4

They are going to kill me with all these prices on these things. Its hard enough that I can't even buy a psp for some time now, but now they are trying to charge us to download music video and other stuff I'll just stick my on music.

Ahsafan
Ahsafan

ppl, i've been thinking, maybe they are not concentrating on games that much becuz the games won't get sold due to homebrew. i don't homebrew becuz i want to support the games and they get more money so they will be making more amazing games because in mind they are thinking they will get more money. but if you guys are homebrewing, ppl will know and less and less ppl will not make amazing and fun games. So if you guys pls, PLS stop homebrewing, they can make some good and amazing games, or they just go and make good games on ds since ds games are getting sold much more!

Ahsafan
Ahsafan

PSP should really concentrate on the games, don't concentrate on videos and stuff. make upgrades like, graphics update (if thats possible) and make more and more amazing, fun games like the final fantasy series!!!

cr250bronco
cr250bronco

wow, i would love to be able to download shows and movies onto my psp. maybe not music, but video and game demo content! I am down with this!!! if they create a free demo dowload it would be so awesom, much like my 360. i think this will be a great move, but i have to agree with jazztrumpet5, the prices of the storage on the psp is way too high and will keep many away from this new "connect." if sony was to create a much cheaper storage device, i think it will hit off. cuz most psp owners have the $250 package, and since the gigapack was in such low supply, and isn't made anymore, people dont want to spend that much to put media onto their psp. in conclusion suggest either trash the idea, or lower the price of stroage! but please find a way to lower the price of storage, cuz i am really looking forward to this new "connect"

roonagraphics
roonagraphics

What a waste of time these developers take and money just to compete in the in the media biz they should worry more about the games that are made for their portable console it would be great by now to see a final fintasy game tekken etc.. i dont even care they can even port ps1 classics and improve the graphics and twitch up the play and that would make everyone wanna get a PSP

brmcgrat
brmcgrat

The best thing about the PSP is the homebrew and Sony is trying their hardest to squash that. Without homebrew the PSP is a waste. The movies look good, but I agree with a previous post that portable DVD players look better and you don't have to shell out money for movies you already own. At first I thought the PSP was really cool, but the games are terrible and the controls are awful. The framerate and load times on a majority of PSP games are horrendous. I'm ashamed to say I play my old GBA SP more. I wanted to like the PSP, I really did...

eric_k43606
eric_k43606

Sony announced at CES recently that a 4gb and 8gb Memory Stick PRO Duo will be coming in 2006. They'll probably be pretty expensive, but they'll come down eventually and also drive down the prices of the 1 and 2gb models. Who knows, maybe they'll have a giga-pack with the 4 and 8's. If it is for a competitive price, and if Connect is able to deliver as well as or better than iTunes and such, the PSP may have a shot at the portable music/video market. Now all we need are some Games! http://www.pspworld.com/sony-psp/accessories/ 4gb-8gb-memory-stick-pro-duo-coming-002622.php

Freer
Freer

Hahaha, Sony, you lazy bastards, noone's gonna download anything unless they have the space, you should have released the PSP with more memory, but it looks like you shot yourself in the foot on that one, but what else would I expect from you cheap bastards. I mean, it is all about the money isn't it?

24_KarroTz
24_KarroTz

This sounds really good and will probably get the non-gamers to get a PSP. It sounds like the PSP could become a mini-pc.

Xantos1478
Xantos1478

Sony seems to be "redefining" a lot of things lately. Maybe they should shut up and finish the PS3, how about that?!

Jackrabbit_slim
Jackrabbit_slim

If sony sold unprotected content that played on the ipod as well, they could really get connect off the ground. In fact, selling unprotected music that can play on any player would undermine apple big time. I buy music off Itunes right now, but I'd switch in a second to the company that sold me content that could be played on ipod/PSP/any other MP3 player.

Katarn95
Katarn95

um....Sony ...um your PSP (i love you, though your so dumb) NEEDS MORE MEMORY (HARD DRIVE!!!) before you even think of competing with Apple's iPod. um ...da

lageasy311
lageasy311

I agree and disagree,I have a psp and it's sad the games just are not that addictive. It's nice to have movies on the psp, and i see what Sony was TRYING to do. They wanted to create something that did more than the DS. So when your at the store you see...hmmm gaming device? Or gaming and music and photo and movie and internet etc....device. Unfortunately that is also there downfall. You can't specialize in one thing. It's the same reason why when you have it all you have nothing. They failed to realize the I-pod's popularity, and I think the MAIN problem is the storage device. There is no memory for it. IT's harder than a priest in a playground to store lots of stuff onto the winky sized mem card......hopefully they can pick up and figure out maybe what's going wrong. I feel they need some developers back, but lets give them a break. It's a nice piece of machinery and it just came out. There is not going to be the same library of games like nintendo has b/c they've been around since 89. They already had there hit and misses and know what works :)

woohooforme
woohooforme

What's the point Sony...most people even THINKING about buying your portable already have an iPod or a portable DVD player..

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

LOL!!! let me buy a couple 1 gig memory sticks with a psp (about $450) and throw my 40 gig ipod out!!!! stupid sony. you are only being distracted by things you won't win at. maybe just stick to porting ps2 games if you want to make (milk) some $$$.

cypher50
cypher50

A iTunes competitor is all great except that even if I want to use my PSP for a mp3/video player I can't because the memory sticks are so expensive! Why should I pay $199.99 for a 2GB memory stick when you can get a new iPod for $299? Services like this won't work until memory sticks drop significantly in price....

forever_blank
forever_blank

It is about time, I remember hearing about this function of the PSP, a long time ago. Releasing it in March couldn't be any sooner. More likely it is too late. Xbox Live is now Xbox 360 live and iPod is a common name, but I have never heard, people mention the PSP as a medium to download. Time ran out a while ago, now it will be harder than every to break the market

novicegamplagrl
novicegamplagrl

This is why the DS is better and is out selling in PSP in Japan. They have GAMES to play and the PSP don't. Start listening to your customers and stop worring about capturing the multi-media world. They sound like Microsoft to me right about now.

ghostrc
ghostrc

You might at well buy a ipod or something if your going to spend the money buying memory for your PSP. Leave it to games.

darth-revan
darth-revan

okay sony wtf is ur problem! iown a psp, when i bought it i expected good games, i didnt get many of them. i wanted an mp3 player with video, i bought i f***ing i-pod cause it had wat i wanted and actually 1000'sof songs to buy and keep and videos. sony focus on games not other such buisness damnit! i own a ds and it has brought me more joy then my 250$ psp

mkdc
mkdc

this just proves one thing: Sony is gonna have a second version of its PSP with built-in harddrive, or microdrive. That's why they purchased a microdrive division of some other company, and produce microdrives themselves (whom is a memory stick supporter). Sony is really trying hard to have an ALL-IN-ONE entertainment system, but at the end, how many people are gonna use the features beyond gaming and music? Movies require high storage, and memory sticks are currently the most expensive medium.

spr4yp4int
spr4yp4int

Cool, but sony needs to focus a little more on what games are made for the psp, instead of the hardware. Really, who is for a PSP version of ICO? Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance? Shadow Of The Colossus? Devil May Cry 1? That would kick ass. Nintendos ass :D

B-bad
B-bad

it'll be cool to see what the service is going to offer once it's up and running, having a place that you can download movies, music, and games on the psp is cool especially if it can be done directly on the psp. It good to see sony doing this and hope it doesn't go the way of it's portable site that doesn't change at all..... this and cheaper memory Stick and or a online storage space would be a plus for the psp... maybe it could work with the location play service.... Offering a way to use the location player service without buying the player.

slipshoddoa
slipshoddoa

Sony always puts half-baked media functionality into their gaming devices and consumers are finally figuring out what it really is- a desperate attempt to put more bullet items on the back of the box. The PS2 was the world's lamest DVD player (crappy image quality, lots of titles like the Matrix won't even play, etc) and now the PSP is the world's most cumbersome, fragile, dead-pixel magnet MP3 player. What do you want to bet the PS3 will have major compatability problems with PS2 games (heck the silver slimlines can't even play Tekken 5) and probably newer Blu-ray discs? Whoops, dual layer movies were never tested. Guess you'll have to buy a standalone player.

vi3tdynasty
vi3tdynasty

The psp is going to need a bigger memory if it wants to hold all the those movies and music.

doomed51
doomed51

need more memory, and longer battery life not to mention some good games instead of the damn sports and racing titles.....something fresh and new maybe...things that the PSP has been lacking in!

limberis
limberis

Those concerned with memory capacity. Sony will release a psp with a hard-drive in the not so distant future.***trust me***

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

I hate how Sony does business and Press conferences. Yeah i have a PSP but every time i hear news from Sony im ashamed to own anything by the bloody company. And for those of us that bought the PSP with media functionality in mind and have had to revert to iPods to fill our prortable media needs, this comes as no comfort or is of any intrest for that matter. Again, Sony "style" (no the online store) is crap.

darkheart73
darkheart73

Sony is FINALLY doing somethhing right with this $250 Brick!!! I'll actually want to play it (other than SOCOM:FTB Which i'm gettin tonight! w00t)

eric_k43606
eric_k43606

I agree w/ the idea of a higher capacity battery. Mine hardly lasts 4 hours when i'm playing SOCOM, and SOCOM online drains it disgustingly fast. I generally play it at home, but when I do go on trips and do all day events I find it quite inadequate. I think sony got so involved with making it a portable media center and such that they oversighted the fact that the main function (gaming) drained the battery way to fast. Flash memory based games for their portable systems is one of the reasons I think Nintendo and the DS are doing so well. Capacity would be a problem for sony, but as prices for flash memory come down, the DS has large potential expandability. My PSP serves me well, I'm just a little dissapointed in the fact that it only works for about four hours away from a charger (playing games, it lasts 5-6 hours watching movies from the DUO, and even longer listening to music w/ the screen off). **My idea for sony's next gen handheld...Hopefully by this time, flash memory will be cheap enough to store a full game/movie rather than using a disk. Use flash based media for the games, and incorperate an HDD in place of the UMD drive. Saves battery and fits in to sony's plan to dominate every portable market with one system...Just my thoughts, I'd be interested to hear any other ideas ; )

dart06
dart06

lol, my brother shelled out 300 for the Giga Pack and socom, and he hardly even playes socom. He has some illegal games on it, and thats almost all he even uses it for. Movies are hard to fit on it, and not worth how much memory it takes, and he has some music. I was thinking about getting one, but probably not since the DS has so many better games coming out. Metroid Prime Hunters will rock! Same for any Zelda game. I do hope that Pikmin for the DS would be made also. Just to let any potential PSP buyers out there know, if you are gonna buy one, don't you dare get the 250$ version...rip off. The Giga Pack is still a rip off, but heck, better deal than the 250$ peice of junk.

hush404
hush404

WOW! Being able to download Movies, games and Music to a PSP? That's hella cool. I ponder if the PS3 will have simular features available at launch?

amena
amena

Yes it would be great to be able to get classic arcades on our PSP's, but it would be even better if you could provide a longer battery to play them.

bizsumpark182
bizsumpark182

If the games are something like Xbox live arcade that will be awesome. I would love to be able to download a bunch of classic arcade games onto my PSP. This is a nice step in the right direction. And also people, its not all Sonys fault of the selection of games for the PSP. You need to start complaining to those 3rd party developers who make most of the games.