We shot exclusive video footage during CES 2010 of a new Sony service called Qriocity, starting in February, and it is the basically the beginning of the Sony Online Service. Sony is going to bring streaming SD and HD to the consumer, but we’re not sure on pricing and I’m starting to believe there might be a subscription model. It’s significance is so strong that it will be added as a main icon on the XMB and as a button on many 2010 Sony remote controls that belong to networked TV’s and Blu-ray players. You can see it in the picture of the BRAVIA LX900′s remote above in the middle right.
You can see the movie titles when you enter the store through a great looking interface with rich album art. At the main menu is the option to go to Media Library, Choose Account, Search, New Releases, Genre, and Most Popular. You can log in with your PSN account, and have multiple accounts for parents and children. There will be the ability for master accounts to control sub accounts so your children dont access the content you don’t want them to.
Upon debut, Qriocity will have “hundreds” of HD and SD movies initially available, with titles from 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Walt Disney Pictures, Lionsgate, Warner Brothers, Universal, MGM, and of course Sony Pictures. I was able to watch the HD version of The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 for an extended version of time and felt that it was similiar to 720p/1080i quality with the 6mbps connection they had, and was certainly no Blu-ray. However, I liked how the software judges your Internet connection and plays a bandwidth optimized version. With higher bandwidth connections (very easy in many markets), it could be that kind of solid 720p/1080i that leaves you satisfied, however – especially for a streaming situation. The whole scene looks so much better than the Comcast On Demand I have at home. It was better than anything I’ve seen on a computer too, including Hulu. I noticed some artifacts on certain darker shades of colors, but I think that was because of the connection. A minor detail in comparison to the overall quality, however.
I would say this is a big power play for Sony and allows them to cater an On Demand experience to nearly everyone with the latest 2010 Sony networked home entertainment devices such as the LX900, BDP-S370 and so forth.
I’m pretty sure that Qriocity will also be coming to TV’s, VAIO PC’s, and Windows users overall in 2010. No word if this is coming to the PS3.