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Sony debuts VOD service in Europe

Companies seem to bang out digital content delivery systems faster than their marketing departments can come up with decent names for them. In fact, here's another: Sony's Qriocity.

Qriocity is Sony's new content distribution system. A video rental system to be exact, as for now it will be renting out movies to your internet-enabled Sony device. Through Qriocity, Sony will make available its entire catalogue of movies in both high and 'standtard' definition in Europe.

Sony, which competes in Hollywood with the likes of MGM, Universal, Disney and Warner, has succesfully signed up its archrivals to the store for distribution and will make their films equally available on Qriocity.

In order to access Qriocity, you'll need to sign up to the service, have a 2010-series Internet TV or Blu-ray player/home theatre and be able to pick the Qriocity icon from the device's XMB menu. Oddly enough, the PS3 has been left out of supported devices, which is a shame - or daft- as there are far more users hooked up to Sony's PS3 than to their 2010 Internet TVs.

In the UK, prices for standard-definition back-catalogue content will be £2.49 while new titles will rent out for £3.49. Hi-Def will have a similar, if more expensive £3.49/£4.49 pairing. Once you've rented a movie you've got a fortnight to watch it, otherwise it'll expire (we wonder if you get your money back, in that case... it *is* digital, after all, it's not like you took the movie out of the store and no-one else could watch it).

Sony will face tough competition from LG and Samsung, though, as they too have announced their own distribution platforms (NetCast and Acetrax, respectively).

The company also has plans for Qriocity to expand into music sales (under the Music Unlimited service), gaming and ebooks, but has so far kept quiet about these plans. The Qriocity VOD service is available right now in Blighty, but also in Spain, France, Germany and Italy, with plans to expand to the rest of Europe in 2011.