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PlayStation Video Delivery Service Review

Published December 4, 2009 by |

There’s no doubt that Europe has been waiting far too long for the PlayStation video store that America and Japan have had 2008, but on 18th November 2009 our prayers were finally answered. The video store had landed! Bringing with it rentals and purchases from some of the biggest film studios including Paramount, 20th Century Fox, MGM and of course Sony Pictures. So, with this new facet to the world of PlayStation 3, we felt it was our duty to delve inside and give you the low-down for your reading pleasure.

Probably the most pleasing aspect of the service is how well integrated it is within the PlayStation Store you all know and love. A quick press on the new ‘video’ button and players are whooshed over to the new area full of silver screen delights.

The layout remains recognisable, with key offerings being advertised prominently on the main screen, while an array of selection options takes residence on left. These allow easy navigation through the dizzying array of content using all sorts of grouping options including categories/genre, special offers, what’s hot, new arrivals as well as those available in High Definition. It’s well organised and logical, although some films do find themselves landing in multiple, and sometimes random, categories (is Child’s Play 2 really a comedy?). All of this pulls together to give a pleasing layer of familiarity.

The broad range of films on offer is very welcome with brand new releases such as Ice Age 3 and Terminator Salvation available to download, as well as golden oldies such as Ghost and The Shining. There’s something to suit everyone and with the promise of additions every week, it’s looking to be quite an extensive library. Combined with the simplistic rental terms (once started it a film needs to be watched within 48 hours), the PlayStation video store is shaping up to be a potential rival to your local rental store.

With rentals coming in at £2.49 for standard definition and £3.49 for HD, it’s certainly competitive. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the film purchases, which weigh in at a minimum £6.99. High Street shops are constantly cutting the cost of DVDs, so the PlayStation video store certainly has to consider their prices with more care to become a serious competitor for people’s wallets.

Given the fact that’s it’s an internet reliant service, you’d better hope your connection is very fast or else there will be long wait required to not only download your film of choice, but even load the preview of it. The average home broadband will take roughly an hour to download a 1 hour 30 minutes standard definition film, whereas a High Definition rental will take 3-4 times as long. Although this isn’t Sony’s fault, it’s an important point to note that unless your internet is one of the fastest on the market, then the service may not been as quick as you might expect. The silver lining of this is that films can be watched while downloading, so if it’s 50% done then you can start playing it and often make it all the way through to the credits.

As the European video store is still in it’s infancy, the service doesn’t cater for HD purchases, aside from rentals, and there are no TV shows on offer in season form or as single episodes. This lack of content is sure to be filled in the future, but for the moment it does leave people hungry for more.

All in all it’s a great service- providing your internet connection is fast and the majority of your needs are rental based. Sadly, the lack of competitive pricing on most full purchases may put some off, especially given that most retail stores have the films for less and the PlayStation 3 is already a DVD and Blu-ray player. For those wanting the occasional rental however, this is an easy and slick way to get access to a whole host of movies from the comfort of your own sofa.