Playstation 3 to get movie downloads this summer

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Tokyo (Japan) – Sony will is ready to expand the content for its Playstation 3 (PS3)
game console with a movie download service, the company said earlier
today.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the announcement was made by Kazuo Hirai, president and group chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, stating that the service will be made available in the U.S. this summer. Similar services are expected to be offered in Japan in Europe at a later date.

"Please expect more from our evolving Playstation business," Hirai said. If Sony gets it right, PS3 users should see lots of movies from the start, since Sony Pictures Entertainment holds more than three dozen production studios and networks. Especially noteworthy is Columbia Tristar, which owns titles such as Spiderman. MGM is an affiliate of Sony Pictures.

The new service is likely to be detailed at E3 next month and is yet another step on Sony’s path to make the PS3 a profitable platform. According to Sony’s most recent financial report, the company sold 12.81 million PS3s until March 31 of this year. Due to the high hardware cost of the PS3, Sony’s game unit reported a $1.2 billion loss for its fiscal year 2007 (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008).

A reduced production cost as well as increasing game sales, however, helped Sony to cut the loss nearly in half from a year ago when the game unit (which includes PS2 and PSP as well as game sales as well) reported a loss of $2.3 billion.

It is generally believed that Sony’s PS3 may have accumulated losses of more than $3 billion so far.