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Sony PS3 movie downloads are go

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Sony has finally broken its silence over the long awaited PlayStation 3 video downloads service and launched it onto the PlayStation Network.

The electronics giant has partnered with numerous content providers for the service, including Fox, MGM, Lionsgate, Warner, Disney and Paramount. Available content - in the US only, alas - includes about 1200 TV shows and roughly 300 movies.

Content is available in both SD and HD, with TV prices starting at around $2 (£1/€1.50) per episode. Alternatively, gamers can rent films for around $3 (£1.50/€2) or keep them for around $10 (£5/€7). Rentals are retained on your PS3 for 14 days, but once you begin watching something then you have 24 hours to finish it before it self-destructs.

Downloads can be transferred from a PS3 and onto the PlayStation Portable. Users can also view full-screen preview clips before paying to download anything.

Apple’s recently launched iTunes movie service allows punters to permanently download older library title films for £7/$10, or the latest movies for £11/$15 each. Apple’s SD rental selection costs £2.50-3.5/$3-4. HD versions cost £1 or $1 more.

Sony’s announcement will be a kick in the knickers for Microsoft, as it’s only just announced a deal with Netflix to expand its Xbox 360 movie downloads service. The service is expected to launch later this year with a library of roughly 10,000 films and TV episodes.

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