Sony is preparing to launch downloadable movie content for the PSP, weeks after a similar service was launched for the Xbox 360
in North America, and apparently in opposition to Apple Computer’s iPod related service.
According to a news report
by British newspaper The Financial Times, the service is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2007, following deals with various online video providers.
The service will allow users to download a film to a PC (or presumably a PlayStation 3 – although this is not specifically mentioned) and then to transfer it to the PSP, much in the manner of already announced emulated PSone games.
Websites such as Amazon.com, Movielink and CinemaNow are reportedly currently in talks with Sony about the service, where the question of improved security against piracy is being promoted as a major benefit over iTunes and the iPod. The new service has been developed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, not Sony Computer Entertainment.
With the sales of movies and video content on UMDs failing to live up to Sony's expectations, a move of this kind has been predicted for some time. To accompany the launch of the service, the company will make available a new 4Gb memory stick which will be able to store up to ten feature length movies.