Friday, September 19, 2008


Couldn't sleep last nite, so I browsed the PSN movie store. I really like the movie store on Playstation and have downloaded a surprisingly semi-decent amount of content from the service. I never thought I would use it, but there's something really nice about renting movies from the comfort of your couch.

There are two things that really bug me about the store, however.

- the rates are too high on television episodes. 2 bucks for an individual episode of a tv show? That's a bit nuts when you can get 3-6 episodes for 3.99 if you rent a disc containing 1/3 of a television season at Blockbuster or from Netflix.

-why are so many of the newest releases for purchase only? I've passed on the PSN movie store on at least 5 occasions- and updated my Netflix cue instead- because the PSN store only gave me a purchase option for a movie that I wanted to rent.

Just last week- geeky and lame as it is (and it IS)- I really wanted to watch the new Avengers animated movie that recently launched on the service. But my ONLY option via PSN was to pony up 15 bucks to OWN a digital copy of a movie that I will probably only watch for 30 minutes (cause I imagine it's not a very engaging movie if you are over the age of 10). So I just added the movie to my Netflix cue and the PSN store lost a sale.

To that point, does anyone want to own a digital copy of a movie, anyway? I suppose if you watch the flick a lot of times it makes sense. But given that digital movies take up valuable hard drive space, wouldn't those frequently watched films be the ones you choose to own on Blu Ray or DVD?

And on a tangent: I can understand, support, and actually enjoy downloading games (whatever the size of the title). And I'm not sure why, as you'd think I'd have the same reservations with downloading games as I do movies...but I don't. Why is that? Sure, some are ONLY downloadable titles, so you have no choice. But what about games like BURNOUT:PARADISE and WARHAWK that you can get on disc or digitally? Or what about the games I own on Steam? For some reason, I LIKE owning digital games but not digital movies. Is this just because I work in the business and see a financial value to selling games digitally and bypassing brick and mortar? Or is there another reason? Not too sure.

But anyway:

So why would the PSN movie store NOT offer the options to buy AND rent? Are they trying to get as much cash as possible by selling digital copies first and then opening up the rental channel once they've milked the sales channel? That seems kind of short sighted and a bad way to generate good faith among users (especially with a fledgling system). And ESPECIALLY since anyone can easily counter that tactic by running down the road to Blockbuster and/or updating their Netflix cue (and in doing so, saving 11 bucks by renting the movie and not buying it). So why are they doing it? They clearly have a rental service in place and working, so I don't imagine it's a technical issue. But whatever the reason, it sucks much ass and they need to stop.

I have not shopped on the Xbox Live video store in over a year so I'm not sure if it's the same 'over there'. Do you guys know if they have the same set up? I know about the Netflix subscription thing, but that aside, can you rent AND/OR buy ANY movie on that service or do they have a lot of the movies that are purchase only as well? And if they do, they need to knock that shit off as well.

So, there's that.

Ok, but even with those issues, I really like the PSN movie store. Nice layout, good selection. Oh, and it rocks for the kids- they like browsing the family section with me and discovering movies they've never heard of but end up really liking.

So I was up late using it last night.

And I rented ROCKY III as it's my fave Rocky and I've been wanting to watch it for awhile. Love ALL the Rockys, save for number 5, but I've been wanting to see Rocky and Mr. 'T' go at it for the last few months. So I picked #3.

And so I rent it (yes!), and start watching. And what do I see in the first 20 minutes? Right as the 'Clubber is hungry and Rocky is getting lazy' montage? Well check it out:

How cool is that? Mr. 'T' kicked my ass! Sweet!

I saw this movie first as a kid with my mom during the summer of 82. It was playing at the Brookwood Mall theater and my brother was away at summer camp, my dad was at work. This was a magic theater, by the way. SAME theater where I saw Raiders, ET, Clash of the Titans, and Excalibur. But anyway, saw it with my mom and you would have thought she would have noticed our last name appearing in the flick. But she never said anything and for some reason it never caught my eye till last nite. Hey, maybe this is one of those living advertisement things, where they alter the movie and put the last name of the person who is paying for the account into the flick? Nah....

I guess I could have just posted that pic and not gone into my whole love/dislike thing with the PSN store but like I said- I was up late...and so I'm tired now. And my brain is not working so well on such little sleep. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep last nite (late to bed, up early as my youngest crawled into bed with me at 5am and I've been up since...but hell, I don't mind...would rather have Rocky III and my kids hanging in bed with me than 8 hours of sleep, anyday!)

Ok, time to eat some breakfast and hit some gameplay tuning!

Later ya'll! Good weekend!



Andrew Aiello said...

just wanted to point out Mr jaffe that the XBL MP always offers a rental option(though not always an HD option). They share pricing pretty much identical pricing though. Also the new fall dashboard will allow you access to your watch it now queue on netflix(you can also just nab a ROKU box for about 99 bucks plus shipping).

Scott Gunsaullus said...

I feel differently about digital downloads. I look forward to the day when DVDs and disks are a thing of the past. You pay for a movie, you download it and you OWN it. That's the way it should be.

I think the PS3 is the first generation of true home media servers. You can access all your pictures, your music and your movies easily, from the appropriate location; the living room. Assuming Sony get's it's DRM sorted right, the media that you purchase from them can potentially outlast the console.

The first upgrade that I would make to my PS3 is to swap in a 250 or 500 gig hard drive. Or, I would set it up to mount my linux media server for the music, movies and photo folders. Then, you've got potentially unlimited storage capacity and total administrative control.

da criminal said...

It's not that I don't like downloading stuff.

It's that most movies I don't WANT to own. I want to rent and watch them once and be done with it. Why do I want to pay 15 bucks to OWN a movie- digital or otherwise- that I have no interest in owning.

My point is more about not having the rental option on most movies.

As for owning digital movies, yeah, if there was a sense that what I buy will travel with me over the years, then sure. I feel that way with itunes and I'm not so sure why. The idea of buying movie on PSN or XBOX doesn't feel as long term, you know?

xjulianx89 said...

The Xbox 360 rental service doesn't do that. I never rent movies over my Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 though.

ctsnake said...

All movies on XBox Live are rental only with no option to buy and TV shows are all purchase only with no option to rent.

Benjamin Gilbert said...

I think the divide between digitally owning games and digitally owning movies is a matter of mobility. Psychologically speaking, there's a separation for most people between their friends who play games and the general population of friends they have (aka, those who watch movies... everybody). Digitally, you are imprisoned in your movie purchase whereas with a videogame, you at very least have the online component. Regardless of that, games are necessarily a shared item always between your general group of friends and yourself. Compounding these two big differences leads to a psyche not content with digitally owning movies.

Benjamin Gilbert said...

**aren't necessarily a shared item...

erico316 said...

well what i can say is that the interface of the psn is the best of the 3.i love the new store redesign.The movie industry believe that digial is going to be the way of the future and they trying to start it as soon as possible .i believe digital renting is all they getting from usno one want to own a copy of a movie digital i want hard copys and blu ray is all i will buy if i plan to own a movie.

max said...

Oh, at least you guys have a video store. I'm in Europe and we don't get shit.

Sadeq said...

I don't use the movie store (not available here yet) but I think I still wouldn't want to own a digital copy of a movie, not on my PS3 anyway since I bought it for games and I don't want the valuable HDD space to go to waste on movies. I do keep some of my music on it though (mainly to use them in-game). Don't know about 360 as well (again, it's HDD is even much smaller).

matt said...

It's hard to erase computer data. I wish I could buy movies by chapter. Maybe I just want chapter 13 of such and such movie. $1 for that. Another thing is that it's hard to break digital media. It either works or it doesn't. With a disc or a tape, it might get messed up, or you can write on it. You can only rename computer files or maybe fill out information in the file tags. That said, a digital copy of some media you get is truly your own, it's unique. There's gotta be microscopic (?) differences between any copy of an mp3 file, wmv file, etc. Aren't there? I'm not sure. I assume there is and that it's hard to detect even with the latest forensics and whatnot. Point is, when you buy a DVD at the store, you're not getting something that was personally made for you. Whereas with copying a song or movie off a server, it's more like you're getting your own signed edition, or your own like hand-made clay pot. Cause the data is built up bit by bit. I would think there's unnoticeble errors there. Another thing though is that all these different kinds of media have their own charm. Sometimes I look back on the VHS days fondly just as others like laserdiscs or LPs.

matt said...

Have you ever been handed a mix-tape by someone you didn't like and it smelled? Try handing someone an mp3, by sending it to them through email or IM, and see if it carries any pheromones. :D

grasshopper said...

The lack of rentals on the PSN store bugs me too. Seems like half the stuff I want to see is buy only...and I'm not buyin. I'm ok with dropping 2 bucks on a TV show for quick entertainment if its something I want to see but not movies.
Nice job getting your ass mauled by Mr. T =) thats pretty funny.

Michael H. said...

Wassup David! Dropped by your website for the first time yesterday and will be coming back a lot to see how you are doing. Love the video blogs! Brings back a lot of memories from when we were kids. Sorry to hear about your divorce, but glad to hear you are OK with it.

BTW, I'll be rooting for the Tigers this weekend, Geaux Tigers that is!

The guy who you went with to see Raiders, Temple of Doom, ET, Clash of the Titans, Return of the Jedi, Time Bandits and a bunch of other great and stupid movies, many of them at Brookwood Mall.

da criminal said...

Michael!!! Hey man! Are you on facebook? Get on there so we can chat!!!

I was JUST thinking about you the other day- do you remember when we used to play that game MOBIUES on your APPLE 2e? I have NO clue why I was thinking about that game but I so was.

How are you?!?

And for those reading who are like: WTF?!?! Micheal and I grew up next door neighbors and played like EVERY DAY for years together! We played all the latest games together and would hunt down the big released like madmen every time a new game would hit (pac man, asteroids, Ultima III,etc).

-rallyRAYS- said...

One only issues I have with the PSN, is the odd format availability?
I saw Speed Racer was in the store... i thought GREAT, im going to grab the HD version and watch that over the weekend. WRONG, you can only purchase the SD version... WTF? I realize making current movie releases available would hurt the Blu-Ray sales... but it kinda bums me out!

ctsnake said...

I just saw Speed Racer on Blu-Ray and loved it. Definitely one to see in HD. I love the visual style and the color and detail of the movie on Blu-Ray is amazing. Don't think it got very good reviews but it is a fun movie with a unique visual style.
It will probably be a few years before video downloads can match the quality of Blu-Ray so I don't think download rentals will really hurt Blu-Ray sales. I think most people would rent it from PSN and buy it on Blu-Ray if they really like it.

DBVII said...

Man! I haven't thought about the Brookwood Mall Theater in FOREVER! Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

You wouldn't even recognize that area now, man.

fred said...

I actually prefer owning stuff, but my problem with the digital movie download stuff on all the platforms is that they cant really compete with retail prices. Sure you cant get Blu-ray discs for under 20 bucks, but if youre like me you dont have an HD TV, so you can get the same movie for less than 10$ as a DVD. What IS nice about digital is that you can track down what your looking for fast, instead of lounging around a store for an hour. I wish that they had a sort of 'Good old Games' deal for movies, theres alot of old movies Id like to see but nobody seems to have em on DVD or for download. Seems like an untapped market.

Anonymous said...

hmm dave doesnt mind downloading games on the psn? does this mean that you'll be taking full advantage of the addons features when your next game comes out? i hope so.

im with ya on downloading movies...way to expensive and it takes up wayyy to much space - not worth it. i'd rather wait for the movie to find its way into the used bin at a local gamestop or blockbuster.

i meant to comment on your racing game portion of the blog but i made fun of your age instead.

i honestly think that burnout paradise was designed somewhat poorly. Yeah its a pretty game and yeah it runs great - but the navigation system sucks big time. I've lost countless races online because i made one wrong turn and had to back track - not to mention all the times that I've crashed just because I had to take my eyes off the road and look to see if this is the turn I wanted to take. I definetly prefer burnout revenge and motorstorm over paradise, its much easier to race when all you have to do is watch the road for cars rather than navigate and race at that speed. Maybe if EA copied off of rockstar's way point navigation the game would of been better - for whatever reason its just so much easier to tell where to go in that game.


Anonymous said...

Honestly, as crazy as this may sound I like having physical copies of the medium. Whether it be movie, CD, or game. I would rather have a bookshelf full of games then a hard drive full of them. I'd rather pull a copy of Warhawk off my shelf then to just click it off my screen. Maybe it's just me. It may sound crazy but I hate that everything seems to be moving towards digital disribution as far as a full game purchase.

Joel said...

count your lucky stars, cause they dont even have the PSN movie store in Canada!

bullox, i say!

oh well, the idea of downloading movies doesn't actually appeal to me, because downloads on my ps3 always take FOREVER! it would definitely be quicker to go rent a movie from the store, in my case.

Gothdom said...

I'm like Joel, Digital Distribution doesn't appeal to me. I'm one of those who watch a flick and say "crap! I have to show this movie to my friends" and then I take the DVD there.

Also, I'll believe in DD when the internet service providers stop being morons. In Canada, they suck ass more than anywhere else. It costs about 50$ for around 4 to 7 mbps (and most of the time, you never get to the highest amount on your service).

Anonymous said...

Please put some great music on the game ur going to create.

If u dont have any ill give u some.

Anonymous said...

you r divorced wow.

I cant believe a cool guy like u could end up with a divorce.

Rey said...

[Twisted Metal]
what if your put the fans in the game as they becom the collecters and learn about the world and the drivers. and when your done you become a driver your self. :P lol true fandom speaking of the game do you think that sony well have a Twisted Metal ps3 theme?

o hay Jaffe at a convetion i went i set up a Twisted Metal contest and suprizing pepole where drawn to it so you have more fan out there :).

there something i alwas wanted to know can game developers tell where they get there character insperation from? cause i seen some vids of them doing that i for got the titels but like how Freddy Kruger was a creppy guy out side look at you and with wired elsness what was going on at the time west craven was a kid.

Rey said...

ps your a indy fan? what you think of this vid i found.

i agree i only buy movies that i like and ones that i kinda do i rent. but i dont like to download movies to the system cause what if if dies then you just wasted money there but like the movie now are going to have digital copys so that you cant take it where ever you go.

Kevin James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin James said...

Gotta love the Stallion flicks. Rock II is my fave in the series. I've considered downloading the HD version off of the PSN, but I bet a Blu Ray release is in the works.

I have the same gut feeling you do on downloading games versus movies, and I think this is why: you are going to play a game far more times than you'd watch a movie (assuming you like both equally). I've played Warhawk and Calling All Cars far more times off of my hard drive than I'd watch Evil Dead 2 or Cinema Paradiso, but I love both sets equally in their mediums, you know? The convenience outweighs the tangibility factor for games, but not for movies, in my opinion.

Murderdolls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murderdolls said...

My only question is... why haven't you been on the 360's marketplace in a year?

Quemador said...

jajaja funny pic

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StressedOutCat said...

I still have to wait till they have the psn movie store here in europe..

somethings I would like to own.. but something yea.. why should I pay full price on something that may not interest me... if the movie is that good I may choose to comeback and buy it later .. but not based on trust to believe that everything that they sell will be to liking..we just have to wait and see what sony does... I still think they should have made 1 psn movie/games store... one of the main reason I love the ps3 is that games are region free... and being in Europe I can just order my games online getting em cheaper and in some cases get em maybe weeks or months before they hit the shop here..

I do have a us psn account I can buy at least the games online.. but not the movie section... since my IP different. ( kinda makes me feel like a second rate sony costumer )
stopped going to the local psn store.. ( they haven't even updates the layout still on the local one.. someone at sony PAL needs a wake up call )

oh and David how many rounds did you last against Clubber Lang ?

Kofman said...

Hey Jaffe, I've been keeping up with the blog ever since it went back up but became less active in regards to posting (largely due to the late of political stuff and more so due to time).

With regard to the PSN. I agree, I think that buying episodes on PSN is out of the price league for most consumers, and furthermore. Some should probably be free. I regret buying digital media because the purchase status does not seem to stay constant with the account. When I tried logging on from a friend's playstation (using my secret password) I could not re-download a movie I purchased for $15. If something were to ever go wrong with my system, that movie is than lost forever and so I've lost all appeal towards it.

On the other hand, playing movies instantly is a really nice thing for an SD rental cost of $3.

PS: With regard to your last blog post on making the game fun after the tech is in place. Well I am currently project lead for game project inspired by the original twisted metal. It's a five men team, five months (four to go). Anywho, the game is arena based combat, and spin is hamsters in balls with rockets. The really big challenge we are facing is that the design process is not lead by a single individual but instead by a group of five. These five individuals must all agree, and in some cases compromise. In a few more weeks we are finally going to be able to play test the overall feel of the game. But we have made a decision to constantly test for the fun. Thanks to the small team size we think that's possible. So thanks a lot for sharing that last blog with us, it was very appreciated by an aspiring developer.

Chris said...

Hey Dave, off topic question here, but when Tw...err your next game is officially announced, how long do you think, from that point, will it take to be released?

misfit said...

I have to agree with your comments about PSN. What really pisses me off is the inability to transfer shows or movies I've purchased to anything other than a PSP, which I don't own. And as I understand it, once it is transferred to the PSP,you can't transfer it back to the PS3. WHat BS is that? I'm never going to buy any show or movie off of PSN until they remove that restriction.I can understand the need for copy protection, but at least let me transfer the damn movie or show to 1 PC and not have to keep it on my PS3 taking up valuable hard drive space for games and game saves.What are they thinking? Not much apparently.

Do you have any suggestions on the best way to contact someone who would be able to make some changes to the policies of the PSN Store? I'm thinking Grace Chen, who regularly posts updates to the PSN Store on the Playstation blog, would be the best candidate as she is apparently the senior manager of the Playstation store. I have no idea how to contact her other than posting a comment to a blog post of hers. She doesn't seem to answer anyone's comment though. The blog is nice for communication between developers and the average gamer, but only if the developer or blog poster decides to reply to comments. Some are really good about it while others seem to post and forget about it.

ConceptCreature said...

Dude, Dave, you'll love this! don't know if you saw it last night, but McCain bailed on Letterman's show to "go save the country":

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