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Sony Trying To Get Hollywood Onboard For PS3 Download Service

Sony is set to launch their long-awaited video download service on the PlayStation 3 this summer, but is still working on getting major studios onboard, per VARIETY.

At a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Kaz Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Computer Ent., announced plans to allow users to download movies and TV shows via their PS3 consoles starting this summer in the U.S. and soon after in Europe and Asia. This service has been in the works since the PS3 debuted in 2006.

However, insiders at numerous studios tell VARIETY they don't have deals in place to offer up movies on the PS3. Sony Pictures is more than likely the only one confirmed. Sources in discussion with Sony also said the conglomerate is aiming to take the service beyond the type of rentals already available on Microsoft's Xbox 360, Apple's iTunes and other websites. One goal is for movie downloads on the PS3 to be able to transfer to the PSP and to Blu-ray discs.

Video game consoles are seen in Hollywood as a lucrative tool for Internet movie downloads because they are already connected to a TV. Microsoft's Xbox Live Video Marketplace is believed to be the second most successful Internet video store after iTunes.

Sony is expected to unveil details about the PS3 store at the E3 summit in Los Angeles in July. Microsoft is also expected to announce a partnership with Netflix under which users will be able to stream video from Netflix's "Watch Now" service onto a TV via the Xbox 360.

Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO, Sony Corporation of America also said the company will launch a streaming video service for its new line of Internet-connected Bravia TV sets this fall. Sony's HANCOCK will be the first available, released even before its DVD debut.

Sony's plan is to put Internet connections in 90 percent of its electronic devices by March 2011. Other goals include bringing the video games group into the black for this fiscal year, doubling earnings from Brazil, Russia, India and China to 2 billion yen ($18.6 billion) by fiscal 2010 and reaching 5 percent operating profits overall.