After my recent troubles with Sony when it comes to video and spending hours on the phone arguing with Sony reps about this it actually put the whole thing into perspective from me and when you really think about what you get as Sony has the service setup today there really is not a lot of reasons to buy video content via the PS Store.
Up until recently, the only other time I had purchased video content, was a while back when I rented of all things “Rambo”, the movie wasn’t that good and it was acting kind of glitchy so I never came back for a second try. Then recently during the long Christmas break, I had just watched the entire first season of Burn Notice for free via Hulu and wanted to catch up on the second season before the third season started on January 22nd. So I look around but its not out on DVD yet, so I look in the PS Store and wouldn’t you know they have the entire season so I looked at it and was like this works and bought the entire second season. It actually worked out to be cheaper than any other place. So I went to download the episodes and couldn’t because of a problem with System Activation, that however is a long saga which I won’t get back into but you can read about it here and here.
So after going through that mess, it occurred to me that the restrictions that Sony is putting on the PS Store when it comes to video far outweighs any benefit you get including price, at least when you actually buy the content because renting is a different story. The problems lies with the fact Sony only allows you to download it to 1 PS3, one time, forever. You can not copy the content off to external storage or CD at least that what there site says though I haven’t tried it yet. But if you in fact are restricted from doing that then what do you have. You have video content that is absolutely, 100% tied to 1 man made piece of hardware and the problem with those things is that they can break. So what do you do if that PS3 breaks, you can send it to Sony and hope the Hard Drive is not corrupted, because if it is there goes your content.
Now judging from the response I got from my other post, not that many people have run into this problem which probably means that not many people really use the video store which is a bigger problem for Sony. I have a problem with not being able to re-download content that I have purchased. I mean I could see if I could copy it from there to a computer and the who knows but you can’t. The most I could do is keep activating and deactivating PS3’s to download the same content and I mean how much of that would any one person really do?
Nevermind, the fact that I might want to backup video that I bought to protect it and not have to PAY for it again. If I can’t then in essence I am only renting the content, and they need to call it that and lower the price to say 25 or 30 cent per episode of a TV show and between $1-5 dollars per movie because the content is tide to one device and I don’t own it anyway really. With a DVD or Blu-Ray I can take it anywhere, anytime and play it on any compatible player. Even with other online video providers, they allow you to copy the content to your iPod or PC. The bottom line is that without the ability to backup the Video content on the PS3 hard drive you really can’t protect your content. I own over 650 movies (hey I like movies), I can keep them in a case in my home and lest something terrible happens I can be assured they are safe and protected, and in the worst case scenario I have insurance so they could be replaced. With Sony’s service as the customer I have no protection, I have my content on that system, am able to download it only once, and if something happens to that system I can not redownload it even if say the hard drive fails. That’s just bogus to me.
So I say to my fellow PS3 owners, what’s the point? The are several other competing services that give you a lot more protection and control over your digital content, so why should we even deal with Sony on this? To me to be competitive you have to have options that are at least comparable to your competition or else you are irrelevant. Sony created the PS Store as a secondary source of revenue, but if your model is so anti-customer then why even have it, I hope its not just to say you do. Look, for better or worse I love my PS3 (I write a PS3 blog for goodness sakes), but I just can’t see me using the video store anymore because its simply not worth the hassle and when compared to other offerings is inferior.