US PS3 video rentals due in 'summer,' Life with PlayStation revealed

Sony announces long-awaited video-download service, will reveal Wii News-like global-news browser at E3; game division still on course to profitability.

This morning in Tokyo, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai spoke at a press conference held as part of a presentation titled "Sony's Sony Group Corporate Strategy Update FY2008-FY2010." The update outlined a corporate-wide initiative to "roll out video services across key Sony products" by the end of Sony's 2010 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2011.

Luckily for gamers, Sony considers the PlayStation 3 to be especially key; the company announced that its video offensive is "starting with the summer 2008 launch on the PlayStation Network." According to most calendars, the first day of the northern hemisphere's warmest season begins on the summer solstice (June 20) and ends on the Autumnal equinox (September 20).

According to a Dengeki Online report filed from the conference, Hirai showed a slide that demonstrated a high-definition download of the film Ghost Rider for $5.99. Though the screen said "Purchase Confirmation," a subsequent slide confirmed that PlayStation Network films would only be rentals, as they are on Xbox Live Marketplace. (HD XBLM film rentals cost $5.99, and SD rentals cos $3.99.) The Dengeki report said that the PlayStation Network would also offer SD video, but did not say if television shows would be available. Hirai promised more details at next month's E3 Media & Business Summit.

Though it was short on specifics, Sony was long on optimism about the PS3's video service. "In the Game segment, the two key drivers of new growth are non-game content and services in tandem with enhanced network capability," the company said in a statement. The company also said that in the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2009, it plans to "continue PS3 cost reduction initiatives," "accelerate PS3 sales through upcoming key franchise software titles, " and "continue to expand the PS3 customer base through the strength of Blu-ray Disc." Earlier this year, Blu-ray emerged victorious in the next-generation console war after Toshiba abruptly ceased HD DVD support.

As a result of the aforementioned efforts, Sony Computer Entertainment now reasserted its prediction that it will turn a profit for the current fiscal year. Hirai also reportedly told the conference that during the second half of Sony's previous fiscal year, which ended March 31, PS3 sales were up 200 percent, with PSP sales up 146 percent.

In addition to the video services and the financial details, Hirai's presentation also included the first details about a totally unexpected--but very familiar-looking--service, "Life with PlayStation." Outlined in a slide show snapped by Dengeki, the service looks like a more complex version of the Wii's news service, which lets users take a satellite's-eye view to literally spin the globe and peruse international news by clicking on dozens of cities. (Washington, DC was used as an example.) However, unlike Wii News, Life will PlayStation will also apparently have more general information about major cities, including photos of landmarks.

Check out GameSpot's coverage of Sony's E3 press conference at 11:30am on July 15 for the full US unveiling of the PlayStation Network video store and Life with PlayStation service.

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Discussion

265 comments
division_9
division_9

@MetalMan 3000 Original Idea's?. Is Video Rentals on the Playstation network suddenly a crime?, whether you choose to demonize companys or not(which you do) doesn't change the fact that sony wants to improve there onlinee service and one good way of doing that would be to put in video rentals. Saying thats stealings someone else's idea is like saying building youre stamina so you play better football is stealing youre arch nemesises idea. Sometimes it just happens to be one of the ONLY ways to improve service and compete with something else and heck if you cant be happy with something that isn't 101% original then maybe you should just get used to it. Company executives dont sit in a board room and say "Our goal is to copy Microsoft if we want to beat them". They sit in a room and say "Our goal is to get further ahead in terms of quality if we want to beat them".

pukmok
pukmok

I'll only use it if the rental box at Kroger is out.

akiwak
akiwak

Stuff I'll barely use but is good to have the option. I only rented from blockbuster about 6 years ago but now I buy all my favorite movies for under $10 and I've bought Blu-Ray only when it's cost me $15. Keep improving Sony, LIVE has a couple of years headstart on it costs money to use the features I would like to use. Even with years late start and with no P2P, PSN has come a long way.

WardCleaver02
WardCleaver02

Depending on your proximity to a video rental store, the $6 for an HD rental really doesn't seem all that bad. I have rented movies off XBLM just to save the hassle of getting in my car and going to the video store.

MetalMan300
MetalMan300

Sony really has to stop knocking off other companies ideas. I fully understand that the PS3 released later than other systems and needs time to catch up, and Im glad that they are, but some of these ideas have already been done. Sony used to be a company of innovation, but with their recent "advancements" (trophies, movie rentals, PS3 home, Life With PlayStation) they are just showing that they're content with lagging behind the competition. Not to mention that most of these advancements are inferior to their original incarnations (movie rentals especially).

jofy
jofy

Autolycus for those that dont know, the 1st gen blu-ray players WILL NOT PLAY Blu-Ray 2.0 discs. Just about all of the new blu-rays are coming out are blu-ray 2.0 (aka second generation discs) and you cant have a 1st gen stand alone player.... and thats a lot of people. Wrong,of course the first gen bluray players will play bluray disc 2.0,but they will not have access to bd live,who cares?

Tebbit
Tebbit

systemfan1188, you've seen this before in the evolution of consoles. These are areas where the PS3 has been lagging behind, and I for one am glad that they are getting on the bandwagon. In fact, I believe the trophies are far superior to a simple numerical gamer-score. It just feels friendlier.

Blixke
Blixke

What a joke 6$, first of all, i work in a rental shop, so i can take em from there for 3.00 and second here in belgium lot of ppl already got something called digital tv where u can rent films aswell from ure couch for 4.00. Unless they put up a movie that is extinct but great ill never dl it for the price of 6.00. Dont these companies know u have to ask little to sell big? Ppl will dl more when its like only 1.50-2.00$ in comparison to dl none of 6.00$

systemfan1188
systemfan1188

It's like they're just using and stealing ideas..I mean - in game trophies? video rentals? Where I have I seen this before? ...hmmm.

daabulls23
daabulls23

The news thing sounds like a news-interactive Google earth

andrius45
andrius45

wow it seems as if though sony is stealing ideas from other companies *cough* wii *cough* but hey if it works im down with it. i might actually read about the news. (i have a ps3 so dont judge me)

danbrch
danbrch

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

bulletwaster
bulletwaster

gamerkiduri I have both a 360 and ps3 and it isn't obvious that the ps3 has won the console war because the 360 is more than twice as good

gamerkiduri
gamerkiduri

ps3 has won the console war. ive got both but 360 is a great console but it is no where as good as ps3, c,mon man isnt it obvoiuse ps3 is superior to 360 in everyway

gamer18033
gamer18033

prices for renting those videos is too expensive. hd rentals are more expensive than blockbuser. that sucks!!!!!!!

grf7291
grf7291

sony is catching up with other service and will probably pass them by with services like Home, Life, and video services...but i will stick with blu-ray to rent/buy moves...but hey at least sony is adding the feature for those that maybe can't rent movies outside their house...not to mention PSN is free

ch-ch-chaoguy
ch-ch-chaoguy

6.00? For one day... just going to your local video store would be a better idea, unless you had that kind of money to blow. Wii news like browser? I'll be keeping a close eye on Sony this year...

PiverSmine3
PiverSmine3

this 08 christmas is gonna be a great holday season to get a ps3

BPoole96
BPoole96

im glad to see that sony is finally stepping up

johnblaze401
johnblaze401

i can rent a movie at hollywood video for 3.99 and keep it for 5 days.... 5.99 for one day seems like a rip off. but for other ppl it may not be

SonicTheMonkey
SonicTheMonkey

So Sony is obviously taking ideas from the other companies, which is great--more benefits for us PS3 owners, but it would be nice to see more unique ideas coming form the platform.

tuznecote
tuznecote

I dont care.... I just want to play good games thank you very much...

akiwak
akiwak

meh.... won't help me play the games more. A good way to stay informed from around the world though.

okassar
okassar

Not bad.That's one of those additions to PSN which wouldn't be affected by the fact that nobody has to pay for the service...additions like the trophy system and stuff are both late and downgraded by the free service as opposed to Xbox Live.I am almost sure that "the next Playstation" will have P2P online service,don't get me wrong,that is a good thing because then it would be significantly better.

ptown58
ptown58

I cant believe it took Sony this long to have a movie rental service like Live, I have never rented a movie from Live and probably never will but I'm sure others do and its just nice to know I can if I want. Sony needs to catch up , Home would be a great start.

bluej33
bluej33

Eh...6 bucks is a bit pricey. Still, it's a cool service.

Autolycus
Autolycus

for those that dont know, the 1st gen blu-ray players WILL NOT PLAY Blu-Ray 2.0 discs. Just about all of the new blu-rays are coming out are blu-ray 2.0 (aka second generation discs) and you cant have a 1st gen stand alone player.... and thats a lot of people.

SpiderLuke
SpiderLuke

Hmmm, 5.99 with sony or 15 bucks unlimited with netflix... hmmm

Pablo620
Pablo620

Pretty sweet. But for movie purchases im sticking with hardware aka blu ray

flackstone
flackstone

why would you need this dl dvd if you have the awsome blu-ray lol

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Guys im a 360 owner and really do not see this as 'Copying', its simply evolution, ultimately manufacturers have always taken ideas from competitors, its one of the reasons why we have the technology and features we have today, without 'Copying' we would still be playing Pong! Once in a while a person or company develops something ingenious and innovative, it simply makes sense for competitors to emulate these ideas in order to progress. (just my opinion). A good example of this would be 'Blu Ray', Company(s) 'A' developed it, then company (B) enhances it (e.g. higher speed- 2x, 4x, 12x, etc). Ultimately we all benefit in one way or another.

hovanPS3
hovanPS3

Yuck_Too : Dude, 1st gen Blu-Ray, 2nd gen Blu-Ray, whatever it is, the fact is they all play NEXT-GEN HD BLU-RAY movies at 1080p. Do you buy a movie for the 2-3 hour movie+extras or "only" and I mean only for the BD-Live stuff that comes with it (You Need Internet connection btw for that)??? Do you seriously think the people who spent 1400$ for 1st gen stand-alone blu-ray players are crying because they can't get the extra BD-Live content? Man are you on drugs??? What's your pont here? Are you sad that people got shafted buying a 1st gen stand-alone blu-ray player? What about your precious HD-DVD??? What about all the people who got the stick up their @ss with an HD-DVD player that not only has no more movies made for it...it's completely useless....why don't you mention that !! Instead of crying over 1st gen Blu-Ray players that can't play BD-Live content...BOOOHOOO!! Remeber when 1st gen DVD players were 1000$ and couldn't play DVD+Rs or DVD-RW's??? WAKE UP for once man...

j5r9s2
j5r9s2

the only way this works is if there still in the theater or all the movies are blue ray... because blockbuster, netflix, and so on

jwb-2007
jwb-2007

ive never used it on my xbox because for about £1 more i can get a film on hd-dvd. Also if it takes as long as demo to download you could just walk to blockbusters

greenpyro33
greenpyro33

Well, thats the normal price, but I get the same thing with On Demand, so I'm not going to even bother.

diablo_del_bano
diablo_del_bano

I don't know about the rentals. With digital rentals, it all comes down to terms. For example, I tried the apple rental system, and frankly, I'm not a fan. They make it so you get 1 day to watch it, but 30 to actually start. to me, that seems backwards. I would want to watch it, and then have like a week to show it to friends, etc. Really, I'd rather just pay an extra $5-10 and OWN it, rather than rent it. I mean, I have to think that is what others want too, because every time I see a movie on iTunes that is rental only, the top reviews are the ones begging for a "buy" option. What would be cool though, is to allow the transfer/copy of purchases to a PSP. Then they might get people to own both devices!

keyser27
keyser27

EFF MS and Sony. $5.99 for a rental??? No no no. You get THAT when I get to keep it on my HDD as long as I want and watch it as many times as I want. Hello? What am I missing? It's an encoded file. They put it on a server, you download it, that's it. They have to keep servers up? Big deal. HDD space is pennies per GIG these days. I have a friend who did that once with the 360 and I clowned him out of his shoes. I'm gonna, I dunno, throw something out there: NetFlix. And who wants digital distribution besides companies who make a larger profit margin off it? Oh ok. You can buy the game for 15% cheaper online. OK. Sell it to a friend? HA. Trade in Value? HA. Nope it's yours though. Kind of. I mean you can't let anyone borrow it or gift it or have any control of when it disappears from being available in 5 or 10 years. The only convenience is not have to go the store and buy it. So? I like the store. I like buying something and having it at my disposal, not someone else's.

jumpnjackflash0
jumpnjackflash0

Don't most people already have cable or satelite tv? You can already rent ppv movies with satelite tv and most cable providers. Why would anyone want to waist time downloading several gigabytes just to watch a movie once? Specially in places where there exercising bandwidth caps and throttling downloads. I think a lot isp's need to upgrade their networks before we can see downloaded movie rentals as the norm.

GoldenRamoth
GoldenRamoth

Eh, $6 isn't too bad if you don't have cable or Direct TV or some other network that offers movies on your TV, and you want some instant movie action. But of course, if you own a PS3 you probably can afford the advanced TV. It all depends. Besides, if you pay for it, it's obviously the right price, no matter how much you complain, since you paid. But of course, if you don't then that's another matter.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

Why does it have to 6 bucks. How about 3 or 4 bucks. Man thats a lot.

WeaponX23
WeaponX23

$5.99 to rent a movie is outrageous. Blockbuster online has unlimited movie rentals for like $15 - $20 a month. PS3 should do something like that.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

So, what's Bluray for then? lol.

Autolycus
Autolycus

if downloading where the future, music cd's wouldnt be sold right now in best buys, walmarts, etc. iTunes, according your theory would've wiped it out. get real it takes at least 15 years to have a signifcant change.

henry4th
henry4th

Why would anybody pay 6 dollars for a rental movie? None of my xbox360 friends (5 of them) ever rented movies from xbox360 movie rental services. I hope Sony would make the price 3.99, then it's real deal.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

I am glad about this however on the other hand six bucks to rent a movie. Thats inflation. That sounds like block buster. They all better be blu ray quality or ill be mad.

itsnivlem
itsnivlem

5.99 is absurd. i can rent movies for 1.50 down the street and they probably have more variety. and blu ray is not dead. neither are dvds because not all people who watch movies are gamers. like my parents they're slowly transitioning to blu ray and still buying dvds. and there are millions like them who don't have the slightest idea how to download movies or where to download them. it'd take a while if not ever for discs to be replaced by digital media. especially now with the whole high definition thing.

jasonbarbour
jasonbarbour

"Every movie medium will eventually be downloaded vcr's / dvd movie players will eventually be a thing of the past." -thats in the future, while some people download movies all the time, the vast majority of people buy from brick and moarter stores, also a way of protecting against piracy and an increace in storage capacity so users can buy movies instead of merly renting them with an asurance that they can retreive it if their harddrive fails, as well as a greater capacity to transmit (if all people who view movies and purchase tham did so online the internet would crash/ or at least slow down unacceptably, there are already shortages as broadband is limmited when more people are using the service (only so much information can pass through a cable at one time)) Once we have a greater capacity to distribute, store, and secure digital media to a greater capacity hard disks will be useless, this is not now however. rather, something to look forward too and anticipate in a few years time.