Sony today revealed that the PlayStation Network Video Store will go live in Australia from 1am Thursday, May 20. That's 1am Sydney time.
Through the Video Store you can rent or purchase from a library of 600 movies in both standard and high definition. Sony promises that 50 new movies will be added to the store each month. They also claim support from "all" the major movie studios and distributors, including 20th Century Fox, ContentFilm, MGM, Paramount, Disney, Universal, Roadshow, Warner and of course Sony Pictures.
The Video Store will be accessible via PlayStation 3 (pictured above) and PlayStation Portable (pictured below). You will be able to transfer movies downloaded on your PS3 to your PSP, providing you're signed in with the same PSN account.
Movie purchases cost from $7.99, meaning some titles are likely to carry a higher price tag. No specific pricing is available at this stage, but we assume that eight bucks gets you the SD version while the HD will be more.
Rentals cost from $3.99, and again we assume that's just for the SD version. You have 14 days to download and watch the content. Once you've hit play, you have 48 hours to watch the movie in full.
Unsurprisingly, those price points are equivalent to what you'll find on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
UPDATE: Some more information on pricing has come to light via the Screen Play blog, where Jason Hill reports: "New releases such as Avatar and 2012 are currently priced at $24.99 to buy. To rent, 2012 is $5.99 for the standard definition version (576p) or $6.99 for the high definition (720p) version."
What's different is that while Microsoft talks of its service as, first and foremost, a movie streaming service, Sony is positioning its store as for movie downloads.
Microsoft would grudgingly admit that, yes, you're welcome to download and watch later, but the key was always how you could stream and be watching (almost) instantly, assuming your bandwidth was up to the task.
Sony focuses on downloading while briefly mentioning its service's "progressive downloading capabilities" that will allow you to commence viewing "shortly after" the download process begins.
Of course, until the thing goes live, it's all talk. We'll test out Sony's service on Thursday and let you know how it performs.
Until then, how keen are you to download and/or stream movies on your PS3?