Later this month, Vudu lands on the PS3. And if they’re not the top HD movie streaming service (in terms of quality), they surely fall amongst the top two (with Xbox Live Zune HD being the other). I’m not quite sure what these means as far as Sony’s own PS3 video store, but console owners are about to see a very nice VOD upgrade.
In other Vudu news, they’ve announced version 2.0 will launch next month and includes a refreshed UI. Although, by my count, the new interface would actually be the third iteration (for those who own original Vudu hardware). Actually, this update could even be classified 4.0 as my system software is already identifies itself as 3.0. But never mind those details, they mess with the marketing message.
What I first noticed when reviewing the screencaps earlier this week are the missing Vudu Apps, like Facebook, Flickr, etc. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a definitive answer out of Vudu’s PR team on this…
VUDU’s focus is on the (over) 4,000 HD titles they have in their library. They are very much looking forward to expanding their TV content as well.
In most cases, it would make sense to dump the apps. They don’t directly generate revenue (for Walmart), like Vudu’s core content business, and most Vudu partners have their own app platforms (that Vudu plugs into) – making it somewhat redundant. On the other hand, apps encourage original Vudu owners to fire up their box more frequently which could indeed lead to additional movie rentals or purchases.
As far as the new UI, it looks quite nice — both attractive and functional. In fact, not only is the new tab-based interface designed for efficient remote control they say they took alternate input methods into account, including pointer remotes like The Loop or PS3 Move. Beyond the visuals, Vudu says we should expect new browsing, filtering, and recommendation capabilities.
Click to enlarge: