If you think the UK streaming market is already saturated, think again. Sony is upping its game by switching its previously limited Bravia Core service to Sony Pictures Coreis now accessible on PS5 and PS4 gaming consoles.
The service was initially limited to high-end Sony TVs, but is expanding its reach to the UK among 23 other global markets.
But this isn’t just another platform for buying or renting movies, although that remains an important feature with up to 2,000 movies on offer.
What sets Sony Pictures Core apart, especially for UK audiences, is exclusive early access to select films still in cinemas, such as Gran Turismo: Based on a true story.
However, this is a future promise for now – this title is already available in the US, and UK viewers will soon be among the first to stream it directly from their consoles – but they still have more waiting to be done.
The benefits extend even further PlayStation Plus Premium Members. On top of the existing service, they will be able to access a curated catalog of up to 100 films from the Sony Pictures library, at no additional cost.
This additional feature includes premium titles such as And bear, heavenAnd Curse of resident evilenhancing the overall streaming experience.
From Sony Bravia Core to Pictures Core
In 2021, Sony made some noise in the streaming world with its launch Its distinguished service, Pravya Core.
The service was initially only available on select models of Sony TVs, and promised high-quality streaming through “Pure Stream” technology, delivering nearly lossless 4K (Ultra HD) picture quality.
The service is divided into two content libraries: the “Unlimited” library, which includes a selection of blockbuster and classic films, and the “Premium” library, which offers a selection of at least 300 premium films in the highest streaming image quality.
However, the service was somewhat limited in scope, primarily serving as a benefit for buyers of higher-end Sony TV models.
Fast forward to 2023, and Sony has now rebranded Bravia Core to Sony Pictures Core, expanding its availability for PS5 and PS4 consoles.
Being one of the only major studios not to have its own streaming service, the move may indicate Sony’s ambition to make a more significant impact on the streaming market, tapping into its console user base.
But what does this mean for consumers?
What’s new with Sony Pictures Core
The new Sony Pictures Core, launching today, will allow PS5 and PS4 users to purchase or rent up to 2,000 movies directly from their consoles.
The new app should appear in your PlayStation’s media section – but if you’re having trouble finding it, just search directly for the ‘Sony Pictures Core’ app.
You can then sign up for it using your existing PSN email/account.
The service will be very popular, such as: Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man: No way home, unknown, Express trainAnd much more.
The digital purchase prices I’ve seen so far range between £9.99 and £13.99, depending on the age of the film.
In addition to the movies themselves, you can also find featurettes, deleted scenes, and special bonuses.
One unique feature is an exclusive early access window for select Sony Pictures films.
It will be the first film to take advantage of this Gran Turismo: Based on a true storywhich will be available in select markets like the UK, France, Germany, and Japan – likely before it hits other digital VOD stores.
So far, if this sounds like another digital VOD store to you (like Google Play Movies, Rakuten, Amazon’s Prime Video store, etc.), where you can buy and rent streaming movies – you’d be right.
However, things get more interesting if you’re a PlayStation Plus Premium/Deluxe member.
PlayStation Plus Premium: Gateway to free streaming
PlayStation Plus is a subscription service offered by Sony, designed to enhance the PlayStation gaming experience by offering many benefits, such as access to online multiplayer, free monthly games, a game library, and more.
It is organized into three distinct levels:
PlayStation Plus Basic
Basic is an entry level membership priced at £6.99 per month or £59.99 per year in the UK
It covers the basics, providing access to online multiplayer, free monthly games, and exclusive discounts on the PlayStation Store, forming the foundation of the PlayStation Plus experience.
PlayStation Plus Extra And beloved
Moving up the tier ladder, the Plus and Premium tiers offer even more benefits.
Additional costs £99 per year, while Premium costs £119 per year. These higher tiers add up to a larger game catalogue, adding premium gaming experiences and a catalog of classic games.
Starting today, Premium subscribers will also have access to a curated catalog of up to 100 movies to stream on demand from the Sony Pictures library (at no additional cost).
This catalog will be ad-free and will be updated periodically, featuring movies such as And bear, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, heavenAnd Curse of resident evil.
This turns Sony Pictures Core into a more traditional streaming service – although obviously with only 100 titles, this is more of a ‘bonus’ for premium subscribers than a full service.
Sony Pictures Core is available starting today for PlayStation players in 23 markets globally – including the UK.
The company plans to develop the service’s offerings and benefits over time, including a selection of Crunchyroll’s hit anime content, and additional perks for PlayStation Plus subscribers.
This expansion indicates that Sony is keen to diversify its content offerings to appeal to a wider audience. By tapping into PlayStation’s existing user base and offering exclusive perks, Sony aims to carve out a unique space in the crowded streaming market.
However, only time will tell whether these efforts will be enough to compete with established players like Netflix and Disney+, or whether Sony will even try.