Sony's portable gaming system to get online movie downloads
Sony's PSP is first and foremost a portable gaming system, but it is no stranger to movies. Sony lobbied to give gamers the opportunity to take movies on the go with them via its proprietary disc standard, UMD.
Unfortunately for Sony, UMD movies have pretty much been a failure for the company. Sony even went so far as to try to promote movie playback on the PSP via 1GB and 2GB MemoryStick Pro Duo cards.
Sony is now looking to another route to deliver movie content to the PSP with a new online service. Sony’s movie download service, which is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2007, will allow for movies to be downloaded to a PC and then transferred to a PSP. The movies would on one of Sony’s MemorySticks. According to Sony, as many as 10 full-length movies could be squeezed onto a 4GB MemoryStick.
Sony is in talks with Amazon, Movielink and CinemaNow on the new service. The Financial Times reports:
Global revenue from online video sales will be $298m this year, says Strategic Analytics. The technology research firm expects the market to grow to $1.5bn in annual revenues by the end of 2007 and to $5.9bn by 2010.
Sony is hopeful that the movie service will help to reinvigorate lagging PSP hardware sales. According to PC World, sales have fallen from a high of 14 million units (April 2005 to March 2006) to a forecasted 9 million units (April 2006 to March 2007).