In December of 2012, Sony introduced the aptly named Sony Entertainment Network to European territories. Today it reached the Western hemisphere with the unveiling of service in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and here in the United States.
The purported purpose of the SEN is to collect and collate all of Sony’s various media offerings into one single, easy to use online storefront. Between the PlayStation division, Sony Pictures, and the record labels the company owns, Sony has a massive amount of entertainment content to offer its fans, but prior to SEN, the company had no real unified strategy for delivering this content to prospective buyers. This new initiative changes that though, as it offers a simple website through which people can purchase and download all of Sony’s content (and more) with little hassle.
Though the SEN does offer novel functionality to users, it’s still a bit limited in scope so far. Have a look at what Sony has put into the current iteration of its new content hub:
For PlayStation users, content purchased in the new online store from a PC (Mac and Windows) is added to My Downloads within the PlayStation Store. Users can then download games, movies and TV episodes directly onto their PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, or PlayStation Portable systems. Users can also purchase movies and TV episodes via the online store from any PC and watch them via the Media Go application (Windows-based PC only), or on Sony Xperia smartphones and tablets.
One thing the SEN currently lacks automatic content downloads, although those should follow in a later update. PlayStation Plus subscribers will recognize this functionality, as they receive patches and beta test client downloads on a regular basis with no action needed on their part.
“Sony Entertainment Network will continue to update the PlayStation Store and online store with new features that improve usability and convenience for finding, purchasing and accessing content,” Sony’s official announcement claims. “For example, users of the new online store can look forward to the future addition of advanced recommendation functionality and automatic remote download of purchased content, as well as mobile phone and tablet browsing.”
On the other hand, the Sony Entertainment Network will allow users to transfer content between any and all Sony products they might own. That includes the PlayStation 3, PS Vita handheld, PlayStation Portable, Sony’s smartphones, the company’s Bravia HDTV line, and any of the firm’s various personal computers.
If you want to have a look at the SEN for yourself, click through to the site and sign in with your PlayStation 3/Vita/PSP account. It’s already up and running, and while it’s not as complete as we’d like it to be, it’s still something shiny and new. Gamers especially are like caffeinated raccoons when it comes to novelty. Alternately, if you’re baffled by this whole thing, Sony was kind enough to put together a handy walkthrough for the SEN service. That would be the clip embedded below.