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Sony Qriocity On-Demand Movie Service Launching in February?


Last week’s Consumer Electronics Show was filled with product announcements and promises from high-tech companies: among them is apparently a new Internet-based on-demand video service from Sony dubbed Qriocity, which is getting ready to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video-On-Demand, Hulu, and CinemaNow. Although Sony has yet to announce any details, reports from CES have Qriocity tying in with customers PlayStation Network accounts and getting top-level billing on Sony’s Bravia network-capable HDTVs—and possibly coming to consumers as soon as February.

According to reports from CES, Sony is preparing to launch Qriocity as a top-level selection on the XMB menus on its network-capable high-definition televisions; users will be able to browse on-demand video options through a rich on-screen interface, and set up multiple PSN accounts on the same television to control access for different household members and children. The service will reportedly offer both standard definition content and some high-definition (720p) options as well; high-definition streaming will require a high-bandwidth home Internet connection.

Sony representatives have apparently claimed “hundreds” of titles will be available when the service launches, but there’s no word on whether those will just be titles from Sony’s own vaults, or whether other movie studios are already in on the Qriocity service. There’s also now word on when (or if) Sony plans to bring Qriocity to the PlayStation 3 (such a move would make sense, since Sony is already pushing digital content to PlayStation users through the PlayStation network), or whether Sony plans to bring the service to PCs.

Another missing detail is pricing: Sony has not indicated whether it plans to follow a route similar to Netflix (charging a subscription fee for access) or plans to make titles available on a pay-per-view basis (similar to how many cable or satellite provides charge for premium content.