Sony boosting streaming services with Video Unlimited 'preview'

Although Video Unlimited looks great, Sony's PlayStation Network is still playing catch up to Microsoft's Xbox Live.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Sony recently introduced its new “Video Unlimited – preview” application, a revamped and much more beautiful program with more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes to rent.

For the past few weeks, only PlayStation Plus subscribers have had access, but now it is available to download for free by all PlayStation Network members.

Don't confuse this with Crackle, Sony's app available on the PlayStation 3 as well as via web browsers and mobile applications. The Video Unlimited preview includes new releases, popular television programs and classic films. The interface is an advanced and more aesthetically pleasing than most other menus seen on the PlayStation 3, and this look will likely be adapted by most other Sony console applications.

Video Unlimited offers users a plethora of ways to search for favorite or new titles, ranging from the movie title to the genre down to even the writers, producers or composers attached to the project. Although it might seem easy to get lost down the rabbit hole while searching, I tried it out myself recently, and it's actually very simple to navigate backwards using the PS3 controller. Sony has also thrown in a special history menu that allows users to flip through screenshots of where they've been, and the user can jump back in to the search wherever they please.

Along with being a complimentary application to Music Unlimited within the Sony Entertainment Network, this next generation of Sony's video streaming platform is aiming to win back the hearts of customers who might still feel burned by the security breach on the PlayStation Network this past spring.

That breach isn't the only thing that is keeping Sony behind the competition these days. Sure, there are plenty of streaming services available on the PlayStation Network that are supported on Bravia HDTVs and Blu-ray players, the PlayStation 3, and even the Sony Google TV. That last one is the most limited in app options, but that could very well change soon as we should be seeing more of Google TV 2 before the end of the year.

Yet for now, Microsoft has really surged ahead thanks to deal with Comcast and Verizon for its Xbox Live platform, significantly boosting the amount of content available on the Xbox 360, including Xfinity on-demand programming.

Video Unlimited is a lovely platform with tons of content, which is surely in the right direction for Sony. But PlayStation Network members can only look at their Xbox 360 friends with jealousy at this point.

For a closer look at the new Sony Video Unlimited interface, check out the promo video below:


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