Sony may not be winning with gamers, and lags rival Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Marketplace in the race to own the living room media hub. But they’re not sitting still either: Word came earlier this year that Sony intends to offer Playstation 3 video downloads, and that day has nearly arrived… in Japan.
According to Variety, Sony will launch its on-demand HD service for the PS3 – in Japan only – early next year. Sadder than the restriction to Japan, however, is the content that will be available at launch. The service will start with car-racing videos and a “BBC car documentary,” all meant to drive interest in Sony’s “Gran Turismo 5 Prologue” game. As popular as NASCAR is here, I doubt that teensy selection of content would generate much interest in the US. One wonders if the Japanese will find it compelling, and, more importantly, when Sony will expand its content to reach a larger audience. The price for Sony’s video downloads is set to begin at $1.85.
Theoretically, Sony is in prime position to own the home entertainment market given its successful consumer electronics brand and the fact the company has a studio ripe with content. But somehow they haven’t managed to put the pieces all together yet.