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Sony’s Bravia Core gets a new name, and new PS4/PS5 apps

A PlayStation 5 connected to a TV, showing the Sony Pictures Core interface.

Sony Bravia Core, the video streaming service that offers movie purchases and rentals in high bandwidths of up to 80Mbps on select Sony Bravia TVs, has launched as its own app on the Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, where it’s now called Sony Pictures Core. It can be downloaded for free from the Media section on PS5 and on the PS Store for PS4.

Editor’s note, October 10: our original story from October 5 assumed that Sony Pictures Core on PlayStation consoles would preserve the 80Mbps “Pure Stream” feature of Sony Bravia Core on Sony’s TVs. However, a report from FlatpanelsHD claims this isn’t the case. Those who have downloaded the new app on PlayStation consoles do not see the Pure Stream tag on movies.

If you’ve never heard of Sony Bravia Core, as it was previously known, it’s probably because it was only available to owners of select Sony Bravia TVs and Sony Xperia devices. Sony Bravia Core will slowly be rebranded to Sony Pictures Core on those devices over the coming year. The new name is a better reflection of one of the service’s big differentiators from its streaming competitors: members can buy select Sony Pictures films before they’re made available on any other platform during an exclusive, early access window. In select markets such as the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan, the first film with early access will be Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story (it’s already available in the U.S.).

But the biggest differentiator, and the reason videophiles had reason to be excited for the launch on Sony’s consoles, is that Sony Pictures Core offers its purchases and rentals at a much higher data rate than you’ll get from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or any of the other streaming services — on Sony’s Bravia TVs.  Apparently that is not the case on PlayStation consoles, at least, not for now.

Netflix’s 4K HDR titles only require a 25Mbps connection to support their maximum level of quality, whereas Sony Picture Core on Bravia TVs can more than triple that bandwidth at up to 80Mbps. For comparison, small capacity 50 GB 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs use either 72 or 92Mbps data rates. Kaleidescape offers even higher data rates, but it requires dedicated hardware and can’t run on a console like the PS4 or PS5.

On the other hand, Sony Pictures Core has a far more limited selection of available titles. Currently, it’s a library of just 2,000 movies, but it includes pretty major releases such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Uncharted, The Equalizer, No Hard Feelings, Bullet Train, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, among others.

Normally, all of these titles are offered for purchase or rental only, however, PlayStation Plus Premium/Deluxe members also get access to a catalog of up to 100 movies that can be streamed ad-free and on demand. Examples of these titles include Looper, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, Elysium, and Resident Evil Damnation.

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Simon Cohen
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