Sony begins selling HD movies on its PSN

Today Sony made a minor splash when it rolled out the ability to buy HD movies from the Playstation Network (previously HD movies were available for rental but not purchase). Movies from all six major studios (20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros.) will be available and Sony claims they're the first service to offer HD titles to own from all six.

[ Get news and reviews on tech toys in ITworld's personal tech newsletter]

From the press release:

"Securing high definition content from these studios is another significant milestone further validating PlayStation Network as a complete entertainment network in the home. PlayStation Network is the first and only service to deliver high definition home entertainment from all six major studios, directly to consumers for download," said Peter Dille, senior vice president, marketing and PlayStation Network, SCEA. "PlayStation Network continues to offer the most comprehensive catalogue of HD movies to PlayStation Network members that realize the wide-ranging entertainment power of the PS3 system."

The upgraded service is available today in the United States and will roll out in the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain soon (sorry Canada, it looks like you're once again out of luck). So what's this going to cost? Here's what seems to be 'standard' pricing for titles, based on browsing the online store for a few moments:

New Releases Older Titles
HD Rental $5.99 US HD Rental $4.50 US
HD Own $19.99 US HD Own $17.99 US
SD Rental $3.99 US SD Rental $2.99 US
SD Own $14.99 US SD Own $9.99 US

Those of us with older PS3s might want to keep an eye on file sizes too. The HD file size for 2012 was about 7.5 GB, though other titles I checked (Zombieland, Where the Wild Things Are) were as small as 4 GB. A 60-80 GB drive is going to fill up pretty fast if you try to build a significant movie collection (particularly if you've already got a bunch of music and games on your PS3). You PS3 Slim owners probably don't have to be as worried about file size. As far as I can tell, these are 720P movies; personally I think I'd rather spend a few more bucks and get a 1080P version on Blu-ray that won't soak up drive space and that I can lend to friends. Granted there's the convenience of downloading a copy of the movie without leaving home, and that's worth something. What do you think? Is $20 for a 720P digital copy of a movie a fair price? Please leave a comment!

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon