Berlin – Timing its announcement to coincide with Apple’s (NASD: AAPL)
media event on Wednesday, Sony (NYSE: SNE) unveiled plans to expand availability of its
Qriocity network service platform, positioning the service as a challenger to
the iTunes Store. The cloud-based service will deliver movies, music, games and
e-books to Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console, Bravia
TVs, Blu-ray players and personal computers.
Sony launched Qriocity in the U.S.
in April, but will now expand the service into Europe.
A premium video streaming
service will launch in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. in the fall,
offering content from Fox (NYSE: NWS), Lionsgate, MGM, NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), Paramount (NYSE: VIA), Sony
Pictures, Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Warner Bros. (NYSE: TWX)
A "Music Unlimited" cloud-based
digital music service is expected to launch by the end of the year.
Qriocity is not
Sony’s first attempt to build a challenger to iTunes. The Sony Connect online
music download service launched in the U.S. in 2004, but was discontinued by