Sony has launched the first phase of a new service which will provide Japanese consumers with downloadable video content for the PlayStation Portable - starting with free content, but moving on to paid-for TV episodes.
Called Portable TV, the service is being operated through Sony's ISP company, So-net, and takes advantage of the inclusion of the high quality H.264 video playback functionality in the new PSP firmware which was released today.
Initially, around 100 free downloads will be available, including trailers and independent movies, but the company plans to introduce content ranging from TV episodes to movies and music videos in paid-for format shortly.
Each download will clock in at around 256Mb for a 30 minute segment, and pricing details have not yet been announced. Users will be able to brows the Portable TV site directly from their PSPs thanks to today's addition of a web browser function to the hardware.
The move follows the addition of the ATRAC3plus music format to the PSP, also in today's firmware upgrade, which will enable users to purchase music from Sony's Connect Music Store for playback on the PSP.
As yet, however, they cannot browse the music store on their consoles - but that's functionality which seems likely to be added in the near future.