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Sony may take on iTunes with online movies

updated 09:05 am EDT, Tue September 4, 2007

Sony Considers Movie Store

Sony is contemplating creating its own direct-download movie store, the company remarked today in comments to the press. Spokesman Shigenori Yoshida explained that the firm was "looking into the area" of video downloads as a possible business venture, pointing to its practical reality in the market. The representative made no mention of how likely the service was to come into existence or what formats it would support, though a future development might require unprotected H.264 or MPEG-4 movies to support Sony's new video Walkman players as well as the PlayStation 3 and PSP, none of which currently play copy-protected video formats.

Separate sources suggest that regardless of the company's official stance, its chief executive Sir Howard Stringer intends to make online video a focus and will extend the video service as far as recent Bravia LCD TVs, many of which support the Bravia Internet Link that will access online content without requiring a separate computer. The sensitivity of movie studios to copy protection issues may however require adding a digital rights management layer to much of this pipeline, said the insiders, though whether this will involve Windows Media Video or a new format is unknown.

The hint comes just days after the company announced it was shuttering the Connect store, triggered in part by the company's previous insistence on using the proprietary ATRAC format that would only function with its own devices and software. Connect's downfall was followed by the release of new devices that would support protected WMA songs, allowing them to support most online music stores.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    yeah well...

    the PSP and PS3 are all selling so well......

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999



    If they are really planning on selling unprotected H.264 videos, they might just have a shot at competing after all...

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005



    Sony is setting themselves up, once again, for failure? Well, why not, they have been on a roll, after all, over the past decade .... why stop now.

    The key to success in this busines climate is not to try to dethrone the iTunes store, and Apple, but rather to work with them in a complimentary form -- something hp tried to do, something SONY will never do.

  1. Deal

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Apr 2001


    Implemented like eBooks

    If they implement it as badly as they implemented eBooks, it's bound for failure.

    Limited book selection

    Bad software (crashes, disconnects, and PC only)

    Just slightly lower priced than all the other too highly priced digital books.

    Sony never learns.

  1. Kenneth

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Mar 1999



    I would like to see that happens.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001


    falling further behind

    zinkdifferent has it right and i'll add, if Sony wants to try to compete and dethrone iTunes, they risk falling even further behind as they lose another couple years' lead to Apple if they don't succeed (which they likely won't).

    If you're Sony, you can't bring yourself to admit that you own all that content and have to let someone else sell it for you AND dictate your pricing strategy. Oh and by the way that someone else is killing you in a market you pioneered, personal music players.

  1. chankya


    Joined: Oct 2007


    Great Job

    I think the Company is doing a great job for his own company and for the useers too. This is because as they allow the users to have MP4 movies on the Video walkman and on the PSP, Market going to boost up as well as the consumers.

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