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Sony 4K movie service will work with PS4, require 100GB-plus downloads

Sony 4K Blu-ray player prototype

Sony is still being secretive about its forthcoming "world's first" 4K movie download service, but it sounds like it will eventually work with the equally-mysterious PS4. That's the word according to Sony Electronics President and COO Phil Molyneux, who said "I promise you will not be disappointed" when asked if the service would support his company's new console. That certainly makes sense, and it lines up with previous reports that the PS4 would support 4K photos and video, but not games.

Molyneux spoke to The Verge at a Sony event in New York City where he'd invited the press to compare Sony's newest TVs, headphones, and cameras to similar products from competitors — an event designed to highlight what Molyneux called his "utter confidence" in his product lineup. Still, the questions about why consumers would buy 4K TVs remained, especially around the upcoming download service.

And while Sony appears to be moving towards a summer launch for the service, It appears the company still has some work to do in making the 4K download service a realistic option for regular consumers. Molyneux said that typical 4K movies would be "100 gigabytes and plus" depending on length, and added that file size and average broadband speeds are "challenges that we have to work through... we've got some very good ideas that will make that a comfortable consumer experience." That sounds like overnight downloading of huge files, which Sony already does for PS3 games — and Sony CEO Kaz Hirai called adjusting to long download times "a journey" for consumers when we asked him about it at CES. Molyneux did say that work on improved compression for smaller files was "in active progress," but it seems the first generation of 4K products will involve huge files.

"The whole world is moving more and more to download."

Even still, Molyneux was bullish about the future of online delivery for 4K — he said that he's personally heading up the download service project, and added that while he was "not discounting" physical 4K distribution on Blu-ray or other media, "the whole world is moving more and more to download." Asked about the potential for 4K on Blu-ray discs, he noted that "there has been some progress" on a new industry standard, "but there's no conclusion, and I have to let that forum do their work."

The Verge
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