PS3 Plays Catchup

11:40 AM -- Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) "is a company that has so much promise and so underdelivers," said Colin Dixon, an analyst with The Diffusion Group (TDG) .

We were talking last week about the PlayStation 3. Dixon follows IPTV -- and, increasingly, over-the-top video strategies -- and he was wondering why the PS3 isn't being used in more, well, out-of-the-console activities.

The PS3 can be a game player and a Blu-ray DVD player, but: movie downloads? Music? A tie-in with Bravia HD screens? "There's so much more they could be doing with that thing," Dixon said.

Sony addressed at least a little bit of that today, announcing movie downloads for the PS3, along with a price cut to $400 from $500 for the 80-Gbyte version. It's a start.

Sony announced this at E3, where the console makers aren't knocking anyone's socks off so far, apparently.

Movie downloads are a big deal for Sony simply because Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has them for the Xbox 360. (Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is a competitor too, whether Sony admits it or not.) Sony teased the world with talk of movie rentals in Korea last year but didn't plunge into the idea until a couple of weeks ago, when executives included video services as part of Sony's midterm strategy.

Dixon's quote might still be appropriate, though. Movie downloads are just a catchup move for the PS3. What about running the whole living room? BT wants to use the Xbox 360 as a set-top box, and you'd think Sony would covet that kind of position. (See BT Adds to Its IPTV Options.)

I do think there's a market out there for living rooms powered by a gaming console. Sure, some people won't want to have one company -- particularly Microsoft -- gain that kind of hegemony in their homes. But others would be drooling over the coolness (or simplicity) of it all.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

tsat 12/5/2012 | 3:36:28 PM
re: PS3 Plays Catchup
Both boxes have massive processors and storage and most customers network them. You have all that highly advanced hardware sitting in millions of living rooms virtually unused for content delivery.

Microsoft and Sony are just idiots for not offering up a buffet of downloadable content. Microsoft is especially stupid forcing customers to use "xbox points" or whatever instead of simple credit card purchase.

I mean, it is stupid to have both Apple TV/Roku and an game console, the hardware is virtually identical. But that is what you need for any decent content delivery in your living room.

Microsoft and Sony deserve to suffer for their shortsightedness.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:36:28 PM
re: PS3 Plays Catchup Huh. I guess this might have been an early clue, had I been paying attention:

That says Limelight is being used for system software downloads, but it could be handy for VOD too, right?
Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:36:33 PM
re: PS3 Plays Catchup well, if anything, this might give me reason to try hooking my PS3 connected to the Internet again. Ran into some home networking snafus earlier and gave up on it for a while.
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