Sony Computer Entertainment is trying to pump up the Playstation brand with a new movie service. last year they partnered with parent company Sony to give away tens of thousands of Playstation 3 gaming consoles in a move that bolstered their sales numbers.
Now as Sony is currently being crushed in the gaming market by Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox who between them have over 75% of the Australian gaming market the Company to set to try a new way of attracting consumers to their gaming products.
In an effort to differentiate themselves SCE has announced a new PS3 movie service for later this year in a move that will take them head to head with Foxtel, Telstra, and Blockbuster and free to air TV stations.
The service called VidZone will allow PS3 users to watch music videos for free through the Playstation console.
It will also be available to owners of Sony Bravia IP enabled TV’s in the future.
Yesterday, Apple Australia announced it was now selling HBO shows, including The Sopranos and Sex and The City, through iTunes.
Michael Ephraim the managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment called a press conference today in an effort to pump up waning support for the Sony gaming portfolio, he also hinted that Sony are tipped to announced several major new products at the upcoming E3 gaming show in the USA including new software and hardware offerings.
In an interview with SmartHouse last year, Ephraim alluded to a new content network that would not only deliver movies but gaming software as well as a live gaming experience for Playstation owners.
One of the items tipped for E3 is a new Playstation Slim gaming console which is basically a new PS3 with an optional drive bay and no Blu ray player.
SCEA’s John Koller said last week that E3 will be one of the biggest expos for Sony in his eleven-year’s of attendance.
“It’s going to be a big E3,” he boasts. “We’ve just started planning what the announcements will be, but I’ve been here for 11 years: this will be one of the larger E3s in terms of software and just discussions about where we’re going from a brand perspective and where each of the platforms is headed.”
Naturally, Koller believes that Sony will have a number of showstealers: “I think some of the big announcements are going to come of the software side. We talked a bit at Destination PlayStation, and came out with about half of the PSP line-up, maybe even less, and the balance we’re going to be talking about in the months leading up to E3 and at E3. The same goes for PS3. There’s a really strong line-up of games that’s going to help drive a lot of business.”
Ephraim, earlier this year threatened to sue SmartHouse after we highlighted the fact that Sony Computer Entertainment is price gouging Australian consumers who are being forced to pay considerable more for a PS2 and PS3 games console than US consumers.
In Australia, the PS2 is on sale at JB Hi Fi for $192 this makes it nearly $66 more expensive than the same US model. The cost of an 80GB Sony Playstation 3 at JB Hi Fi is $699.00, while at Best Buy in the USA it is selling for US$399. Based on today’s exchange rate, this equates to AU$532 which is a difference of $167. While Australia has a 10% GST Tax the US has Federal and State taxes that are added to a retail store price.