PlayStation 3 Gets VUDU Movie Streaming Service

By Brian Leahy, Nov 17, 2010 3:00pm PST The PlayStation 3 will be adding another streaming media solution to its repertoire in the United States with VUDU, an HD movie and TV rental service.

The service features some same-day-as-DVD streaming rentals as well as download-to-own movies up to 1080p with 5.1 surround sound.

There is no monthly fee to the service and you'll be paying a la carte for any rentals or purchases. A list of VUDU's available movies can be found here.

Pricing and availability varies by title and quality level. For example, renting Predators will cost you $3.99 (SD), $4.99 (HD), and $5.99 (VUDU's HDX format), but can only be purchased to own in SD for $19.99. Other movies, like Toy Story 3, can be purchased for $14.99 (SD) and $19.99 (HD/HDX), but will not be available to rent until December 2.

VUDU will be available next week for all PSN users in the US and will be packaged in an application that can be downloaded from the PlayStation Store when it is released. The PlayStation 3 currently offers streaming media from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Major League Baseball, and the National Hockey League.

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4 Threads* | 6 Comments

  • This is actually pretty smart. It allows people to choose which service they want to use. I won't be surprised if they add an Amazon on Demand option, too. These services benefit from having their content out there on more devices. The console user benefits because they have the option to price compare and this stimulates competition amongst services that now have larger audiences. The console developer benefits from being able to advertise it has yet another service option for the user, selling more consoles.

    It does take money away from PSN's store, but in the long run it might be in Sony's best interests to forget running the store themselves and instead take a percentage as the facilitator of service use instead. They get paid, they don't host anything but the app to connect to the services, and they don't bear the cost of maintaining the service or of ensuring it has the titles necessary to compete. Having more than just their own store, even if their intent is to keep their store, also takes the edge off in case there are times when their store lacks content other stores have because the PS3 isn't necessarily locked out from that content if they have different stores to check.

    The best thing Sony could do, though, is consolidate these "downloads" or "apps" or "clients" or whatever into a single storefront for titles that lists the different stores with their prices (and logos). That would let you basically price-comparison-shop from one convenient location.

    So you input you're trying to watch "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" because you enjoy quality entertainment and then you are presented with the Scott Pilgrim movie page with links to the PSN store, VUDU, Amazon VOD, Hulu Plus, and Netflix. Assuming all have the movie. Those that don't wouldn't show up. Each link could list the cost. Netflix might offer to let you queue the disc and adding RedBox might add the option to request the disc be sent to a RedBox near you that you've previously input.

    This kind of flexibility is something that Microsoft would never do because they want to own the distribution. The best way for Sony to give MS the middle-finger-salute is to foster competition in this area and improve customer options.

    This kind of scheme could easily work for games, too, if Sony were to let Steam and PSN co-exist on the PS platform.