The European Playstation Video Store Launch Party.
Last night Sony launched the Playstation Video Store in London, which gave me an opportunity to get to know movie on demand service a little better before it goes live today.
The Playstation Video Store
To access the service you can select the PS Store icon from the video section on the XMB which will take you directly to the video store’s homepage. You can also at any point whilst browsing the game store switch to the video section and vice versa.
The selection of genres.
The store consists of various browsing sections such as Categories (really should be called genre), Collections (specially created lists like Movies inspired by video games) and Studio (Groups of movies made by a specific Studio). You can also browse HD only titles, new arrivals and what’s hot. So there is a variety of methods to browse the store helping you to find the movie you want as quickly as possible. Bonus points for the inclusion of Street Fighter II the Animated movie although I’m not quite sure why Hellboy is listed as a video game inspired movie…
The store on the PSP.
The store is available on the PSP as well and you have the option to transfer movies from the PS3 to the PSP to watch on the go. Sadly if you buy a movie in HD from the store you can not transfer it to the PSP, it would be nice if Sony offered a lower size version for the PSP or a downscale to make this possible. Otherwise you have to buy the HD and SD versions if you want to watch in HD at home and also watch on the move. Similar to PlayTV you can transfer your movies from the PS3 to an external hard drive to back up your movies but they will not be playable on your PC. Rentals last for 14 days but once you press play you have 48 hours to finish watching the film before its gone.
Hannah Montana is a standout title…
Purchasing or renting movies is hassle free working in exactly the same fashion as the game’s store charging for movies via your account’s wallet (for pricing details see this post). The best feature about the service though is the ability to watch movies as they download. This isn’t streaming but a new technology Sony has called: Progressive Download where you can watch HD quality films as they download without any loss in quality. I am yet to test it but if it works but it is a fantastic feature that really makes the service stand out. My biggest complaint though is that HD movies only come in 720p with 1080p not available. As HD is rental only this isn’t a major problem but if I was to purchase a movie in the future I would want to buy it in the highest possible quality, which would be on a Blu-Ray disc.
Despite the 2 issues that I have (no HD on PSP and no 1080p) The Playstation Video Store is impressive and I can see myself renting plenty of movies due to its quick delivery and ease but when it comes to purchasing I will wait and see what future updates bring.