We’ve known for a while that Sony is planning a new distribution network that would supply consumers with a source of 4K HD videos. After all, a major problem with trying to sell an expensive 4K HD TV is that there really isn’t much 4K content available. While we still don’t know how that distribution is going to shape up, it was touched on during the recent PlayStation 4 press conferences.
Sony has said that the PS4 is capable of supporting 4K resolutions – but for video only. It’s likely that some games may be available in a 4K resolution later in the console’s lifespan, but most won’t be; the hardware simply won’t be able to push it that far. Like the PS3 and Blu-ray before it, the PlayStation 4 is going to be Sony’s banner product to sneak 4K videos into consumers’ homes.
Don’t get your hopes up too quickly, however, as Sony is looking to make the new service download only – and they’re not going to be small. While many uncompressed Blu-ray movies clock in at roughly 33GB for a 1080p feature film, Sony’s new 4K service will offer movies at a whopping 100GB per piece. For users with a reasonable 25Mbps Internet connection (the current U.S. average sits somewhere under 10Mbps), that means an almost 9-hour download.
Those customers with caps on their connections may be left out in the lurch.
Still, Sony seems upbeat about the whole proposition, and consumers have been getting used to long download times – Steam launched back in 2003, after all, and download speeds weren’t so great then. Since, users have been increasingly moving to all-digital sources for music, movies, and games. One way around the issue is to allow users to download the DRM’ed movie ahead of release; customers could download the movie overnight and watch it over the next week when the release date hits.
Sony said they haven’t ruled out a physical distribution medium for their new ultra high-resolution 4K movies, like a generation 2 Blu-ray disc, but they’re primarily looking at digital means for the moment.
via: The Verge