PSN Video Store in Canada - My Impressions
Wait for it… Wait for it… And when you’re done waiting, wait a little more. That’s what it’s been for a long time now, as PS3 owners in Canada watched in envy as the Official PlayStation Blog put up their weekly posts describing new video store content. But the day has finally come, and as of July 1st (Canada Day!) we now have the video store in the Great White North. (Though it doesn’t feel very white today. I went for a walk at 7:45, and it’s already 26 degrees Celsius.)
The selection of new release movies wasn’t that great. There were only 25 or so movies, and one in particular that I wanted to watch is unavailable. Another confusing thing is that there was one particular movie that would show up in the large featured section on the left occasionally, but never showed up in the list of 25 or anywhere else. So I needed to go back, reload, etc, until it showed up as a feature more, before I could rent it. The selection of all movies was better, up at around 400 or so, but even then if you’re looking for a particular movie chances are you’re not going to find it.
Prices were actually competitive. I was afraid that they would be over the top (like Rogers pay-per-view), but instead I could rent a high def movie for $6, the same as my local video store. So I was pleased about that. The movie clocked in at around 6GB and took about and hour and a quarter to download.
A good percentage of movies were available in HD, and also available for rent. This was an area of failure for the iTunes Store in Canada, and why I never bothered renting a movie from Apple. So it’s nice to see Sony stepping up to the plate here. Though I still don’t understand why the free movie is in standard definition. That’s just retarded.
While Sony did well with video, they didn’t do so well with audio. Not enough movies are in 5.1 surround sound. If you’re selling a movie in HD, doesn’t it make sense to also include surround sound? As well, the movie I rented was supposed to be in surround sound but wasn’t. Very disappointing.
On the whole, though, I think that I’ll be renting more movies in the future. If they happen to have a movie I want to watch, I think I’ll be using the PSN video store.
To sum up before I even begin: I will not be buying any TV content. I looked up the price of “How I Met Your Mother”, a funny sitcom that my wife and I enjoy. It was $3.50 per episode. To pay $3.50 for a 22 minute TV show is just absurd. ABSURD. Then I thought I might try the Spider-Woman cartoon just for giggles, but then I saw that it was only ELEVEN MINUTES LONG, and that, for the price listed, was just too absurd to countenance.
There aren’t that many TV shows that I watch. I was hoping to ditch cable and only use PSN for my TV watching, but at these insane prices, that’s never going to happen. First iTunes squashed any such fantasies, and now PSN has done the same. Maybe one day Hulu Plus will make its way to Canada…