Posted by John on October 26, 2011

PlayStation 3 owners consider movie deal

Brendan Wells at home in East Maitland with his Playstation.

Sony disappointed many customers with its PlayStation Network security breach. Photo: Peter Stoop

After a shaky start to the year, Sony’s console is ready for a cinematic finish.

AUSTRALIA’S leading online movie-rental subscription company will soon offer movies on-demand via the PlayStation 3 console.

Quickflix entered into a streaming agreement with Sony in July to deliver content direct to Bravia television and Vaio computer owners, which has been extended to the PS3.

This week, Quickflix announced its movie-streaming package for Bravia TVs, and soon for Windows, Mac and the PS3, would cost $14.99 a month. The company promises unlimited movie viewing from a constantly updated catalogue.

”Over 1.3 million Australian consumers who own an internet-connectable PlayStation 3 will have access to Quickflix’s on-demand movie-streaming service,” Quickflix chief executive Chris Taylor says.

In the US and Britain, the PS3 is estimated to account for more than 30 per cent of the movie-streaming market.

PS3 owners are already well served for movie-watching options. In addition to the console’s capacity to play Blu-ray and DVD movie discs, Sony launched its own movies-on-demand service in Australia in May last year, featuring movies available to rent or buy from studios including Fox, MGM, Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., Disney, Roadshow and Sony Pictures.

The MUBI online film library is also accessible via PS3, offering independent, international and classic cinema.

Sony Computer Entertainment Australia managing director Michael Ephraim says movies on-demand are the future, although he admits ”we’re still in a transitional period”. ”We are improving on the service every day,” he says. ”The range of titles are as competitive as any other movie service you can find.”

Sony is pleased with the PS3’s performance following a recent price drop.

It has bounced back from its highly publicised PlayStation Network security breach earlier in the year, which prompted Sony to shut its PS3 online services down for a month.

Ephraim says the PS3 is the best-selling console in Australia this year, with sales increasing by 400 per cent in the first weeks after the price drop. The console now starts from $350.

”We’re definitely coming back into stock in a big way for our Christmas push and I feel the PlayStation format has now definitely taken centre stage,” he says. ”The awareness of what PS3 does is very satisfying … consumers are starting to use PS3 in all of its glory with digital downloads, Music Unlimited, the movie service [and] catch-up TV.”

Ephraim also expects the PS3’s Blu-ray movie playback to make the console popular this Christmas. ”With 80 per cent of homes now having HDTVs, they understand what Blu-ray brings to that equation,” he says.

”We think that is going to hold us in good stead.”

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