The current PlayStation Store is a bit of a clunker. It's functionally sound, but a bit rough around the edges from a usability standpoint. Compared to the rest of the PlayStation 3's visual design, it's certainly lacking--but that's reportedly going to change come Springtime, as the Store is said to get a new coat of paint.
One aspect of the Store that's been hinted about by reliable publications, like the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, is Sony's download service, one that president Howard Stringer may be talking about when he refers to the "expansion" of the PlayStation Network.
It may be Sony's best bet in fending off Apple's iTunes for movie and television distribution. And it may be closer than we thought.
Sure, it's been a long time coming, with first reports of the digital download venture hitting in December of 2006, but Sony's been awfully quiet about when it's coming.
According to sources who attended the retailer and publisher focused Destination PlayStation conference last week in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sony showed off a portion of its video store. It reportedly uses the same SingStore-like interface we talked about in our PlayStation Store revamp post, something we hoped to capture in the mock-up of the video store above.
No specifics on launch date, pricing, digital rights management or integration with the redesigned PlayStation Store were provided, but we did hear that North America may be getting the service before anyone else. The only offerings we were told about were Sony Pictures owned. Word on who else might be licensing their content to the the store wasn't provided.
Sony's been very coy about discussing any aspect of the PlayStation video store with the press, but if its showing the service to publishers and retailers, we're hoping that means it's on the cusp of going prime time.
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