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SI: The Evolution Of The Playstation Network ? Sony Network Entertainment, Inc.

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Sony CEO, EVP, and President of Networked Products & Services Group Kazou Hirai spoke to during Sony’s CES 2010 press conference about the current state of the video content available on the Playstation Network, and how similiar services will be integrated into nearly all Sony network devices in the future. This sounds very much like the promises we heard from Sony during their late 2009 Investor/Analyst meeting, where they outlined the “Sony Online Service.” If you don’t remember, the Sony Online Service will be a personal and premium digital ecosystem – the vast majority of Sony?s entertainment offerings, including music, movies, games, and books. They are also going to offer applications. Sony will also embrace many 3rd party content providers to bolster their initial offering ? something they have proven themselves capable of with their current partners in the Playstation Store and streaming partners in their latest networked Blu-ray products.

Sony plans to bring this premium service to BRAVIA TV’s, VAIO Laptops and Blu-ray players. They will leverage the existing Playstation Network interface and deliver a more advanced infrastructure, one that can cater across all product lines. Fortunately, those of you with existing Playstation Network ID’s will be able to log in with the same username and password, and those of you who sign up to this new service will be able to log into the Playstation Network. Hundreds of movies from all major studios will be able be streamed in standard and high definition, with support from such studios as 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Walt Disney Pictures, Lionsgate, Warner Brothers, Universal, MGM, and of course Sony Pictures. Kaz mentioned this will start next month for VAIOs, Blu-ray players and networked BRAVIAs – as well as any Windows PC.

This venture inspired a new company called Sony Network Entertainment, Inc., with Tim Schaaf as President who will report to Kaz.

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Kaz has also mentioned that more European countries will have access to the Playstation Store’s multimedia content by the end of 2010. More than 780 million pieces of content have been downloaded so far, and monthly downloads exceed 25 petabytes, which is equivalent to about 5 million single layer DVD’s.

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