Sony goes head-to-head with Microsoft over non-gaming offerings

Wednesday, 17 November 2010 19:13 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


With today’s announcement of Sony adding Walmart’s VUDU movie service to PS3, M2 Reseach analyst Billy Pidgeon believes this is Sony’s way of going into full-on battle mode with Xbox 360 in order to win-over non-gaming customers.

With Sony’s own movie store, Netflix and Hulu Plus already available, Sony is “making the integration of this non-gaming functionality a priority”, according to Gamasutra, and M2’s analyst agrees.

“I think it’s a mandate with Sony not to just catch up with, but to surpass Microsoft, especially in the non-gaming functionality,” said Pidgeon. “What’s at stake here is the future of Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. We’re going to be seeing more houses where there are two or more consoles – and the battle will come down to where do (non-gaming) family members spend their time?

“I think it’s kind of smart of them to [add VUDU]. “It’s better to give people more options. It does compete against their own service, but it helps Walmart and Walmart will help Sony. It’s coop-etition. This is the point in the lifecycle where people should be experimenting with things – and if Sony is able and willing to do that, then I see that as a positive.”

Pidgeon believes Sony has “a lot more ground to cover” in order to catch-up with Microsoft and pushing the console at non-gamers may just help it gain more ground.

VUDU will release on American PS3s on November 23 with more than 4K HD movies, including new releases the same day as released on DVD or Blu-ray. The service will run $2 for a two night rental, and new customers receive a $5.99 credit.

Hulu Plus costs $7.99 a month, and offers shows from ABC, FOX, NBC, and others.