Sony has taken the wrappers off a new downloadable music video service called Vidzone, which is different to the US online video store and due out in 2009. The proper video store is still happening, apparently.
Apparently there are two discrete services in PAL markets for music and movies. Vidzone will launch in Q1 next year. The Music download service for PSP and PS3 will launch in Q3 2009. They're targeting 23 PAL territories. We don't really understand the details either - we'll clarify when we can.
There are currently six episodes of sports series Blisster up for download, along with eight videos from the Gareth + Evan comedy series and four episodes of irreverent music show Behind The Music That Sucks.
All videos are free to access and can be downloaded in less than five minutes. Heavy plans to offer more than 40 hours of programming over the coming weeks, with each package supported by advertisers such as Unilever's Axe brand.
The news follows a recent announcement by the ABC News network that it will also be providing downloadable content via Sony's official US PSP website. Other content partners include Off the Fence, Speed Racer, Warren Miller Entertainment and Sony Pictures.
All Plus members are included and the download is being added to the Plus section of the EU PlayStation Store right now, PlayStation Network product manager James Thorpe said on the EU PlayStation Blog.
The most obvious and oft-repeated criticism of the platform is the most simple - it offers no upgrade path for existing PSP owners. If you've bought a PSP previously, and own some UMDs for the machine, forget about the PSPgo. Lacking a UMD drive, it won't be able to play your discs - and after hinting at a service which would swap UMD copies for digital downloads, Sony has now announced that it'll do nothing of the sort. An offer of a few free games from a limited list for previous PSP owners is fairly weak compensation (and so far available only in Europe).
Of course, having to re-purchase content in a new format isn't an entirely new experience for consumers - although we've had it easy in recent years, since our CDs could be ripped to create MP3s, and our DVDs play perfectly happily on our Blu-Ray players. One could compare the move from UMD to digital download as being similar to moving from a tape Walkman to a CD Walkman - same content, slightly improved user experience, but you had to buy all your albums again. 2b1af7f3a8