Sony To Debut Cloud-Based 'Music Unlimited' Program On PlayStation 3
Sony announced at the International Franchise Association Trade Show in Berlin today that it will launch a new cloud-based service called Music Unlimited for systems including the PlayStation 3 in Europe later this year, as it rolls out its Qriocity-powered media services.
This will initially allow owners of PlayStation 3 consoles -- as well as buyers of Sony consumer products such as 2010 Bravia televisions, Blu-Ray players, and Vaio PCs to stream music in exchange for a monthly fee. The service will be available on a wider range of Sony devices later down the line.
Sony says that the new service, only confirmed for Europe thus far, will include "million of songs", but did not specify which record labels would be involved in the project. Pricing for the subscription service was also not addressed, but is expected to be a monthly subscription-based model.
Though the service will roll out on multiple hardware platforms, significant amounts of the marketing are expected to be based around the PlayStation 3 console userbase, which currently shows 54 million registered PS3s in use worldwide.
Sony's Europe President Fujio Nishida also said that the service would learn user tastes and help them to find more music they may enjoy, like the services offered by music services Pandora and Last.fm.
The company also announced that it will expand its streaming video service Qriocity into several new territories this fall, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. The service, which has been available in the United States since April 2010, offers streaming movies in standard and high definition, but is only currently available on Bravia HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players -- with the PlayStation Store providing similar content to PS3 owners.
Kazuo Hirai, President of Networked Products & Services Group, Sony Corporation, said about the new service, "We are excited to offer our customers high quality, cloud-based entertainment experiences across many of Sony's network-enabled devices."
"Services 'powered by Qriocity' will revolutionize the way that users play, listen, watch, share, communicate, learn, discover and create their digital entertainment content."