Sources close to Sony say that the company will soon enter the increasingly crowded digital movie download market, competing with companies such as Apple Computer and Microsoft. And as with Microsoft's Xbox Live service, Sony's offering will be made available for a video game console, in this case the PlayStation 3.
According to reports, the Sony digital movie service has been in the works for about a year and a half and will go public in early 2007. It will include movies from Sony Pictures and will eventually also include content from other studios. In addition, the service will enable PlayStation 3 users to synchronize the movie downloads with the PlayStation Portable (PSP).
Sony hopes the new service will help the PlayStation 3 better compete with the Xbox 360, which began offering TV and movie downloads in November. The biggest share of the digital movie download market belongs to Apple, which provides TV, video, and movie downloads via the iTunes Store. Currently, Apple offers movies from only Disney, but other studios are expected to get on board in early 2007.
In somewhat related news, Nintendo announced this week that it will replace 3.2 million straps used with the new motion-sensitive hand controller it bundles with its Wii video game console. The straps are notorious for breaking, and customers have reported numerous incidents in which the controller has flown loose and struck people and objects.