It's not a rumour if The Journal publishes it.
Far be it from us to indulge in rumour mongering, but when the Wall Street Journal gleams information from “people familiar with the situation” we can’t help but jump on the bandwagon and spread the word. The Journal is under the impression that Sony is making a pretty big shift in its multimedia content delivery strategy in the near future and all the information available does lend that idea some credence.
The aforementioned sources are indicating that Sony is planning to offer TV downloads on a scale similar to the Apples iTunes service, but with a better promise to delivery ratio when it comes to UK content. We’ve already seen the start of a move towards a more user friendly outlook with the (unlamented) demise of the ATRAC music format and Connect store, which closes next march. Instead Sony is moving towards Windows Media Player friendly formats (and DRM). This coming along with some new video-friendly media players, yet another move towards a video-oriented future.
Considering Sony is actually managing not to screw-over Europe with its TV plans for the PSP and PS3 thus far, we’re happy to hold reasonably high hopes for the future. It’s also worth noting that Bravia TVs in the US can already access download-on-demand TV content via an (http://news.sel.sony.com/en/press_room/consumer/television/flat_panel_displays/lcd/release/27475.html add-on module) so the infrastructure is there.
As Sony reps are declining to comment on the situation we can’t know for sure what form these plans will take and given that Sony’s PS3 TV adaptor and PSP’s Sky tie-in service will be coming in 2008, we expect to have to wait until nearer then to uncover anything but snippets of information. The hush-hush notwithstanding, the previously mentioned change of tack on the content delivery front does hint at a frankly much needed change of outlook from Sony. We look forward to an official word with baited breath.