Sony's Music Unlimited is going beyond the living room when the cloud-based music service lands on the PlayStation Portable and the Xperia Play later this year.
According to Eurogamer, Music Unlimited (powered by Qriocity) will land on the PSP "in a matter of weeks." Access coverage will be expanded to the PSP2 (a.k.a. the Next Generation Portable) and the Xperia Play "this year." Ideally that will be some time before December 25 as a holiday season announcement could work out nicely for Sony.
This kind of move is exactly what will make Music Unlimited a real threat to Apple's iTunes and even Amazon's MP3 store. As it stands now, Music Unlimited is more of a Netflix for music. The catalog is six million tracks strong, and with a premium account for $9.99 per month, users can search, pick and choose their favorite songs, store those titles in a cloud-based library and create playlists. But you can't really take that music on the road with you. (Even Netflix has iPhone and iPad apps.)
It's much more than Pandora as it stands, but the most portable that cloud gets is via PC or Mac. Otherwise, Music Unlimited is only available on Sony Internet-connected devices like the PlayStation 3, Bravia Blu-ray disc players and HDTVs.
However, now that the cloud will be available on a smartphone (Xperia Play) and portable gaming devices, it's a much, much more enticing service that seems cost-efficient in the long run when compared to paying $1.29 for the latest hot song on iTunes. It could also help boost the sales of the Xperia Play and NGP when they debut as they have an extra special feature not found on other portable devices. It won't (or shouldn't) be the sole reason that a consumer buys either of these products, but it's certainly a positive factor that could prove to be a tipping point - especially for those consumers who already have Music Unlimited access on one of the aforementioned home entertainment devices or computers.
Related coverage on ZDNet:
- Sony's Crackle expands service to PS3 consoles, Bravia products and Roku
- Hands-on review: Sony's Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity (updated)
- Sony to offer cloud storage with PSN Plus subscriptions
- Apple discussing unlimited downloads of purchased songs from iTunes
- Sony's Music Unlimited by Qriocity goes live in U.S. today