New service to be available by year's end

Sony will offer musicvideos for download through its recently launched Connect online musicstore by the end of the year.

Sony Corp. of America chairman-CEO Howard Stringer made the announcement at a recent news conference in Japan. A company rep said plans to offer musicvideos, previously only hinted at, are now in the works.

Connect execs were not available to comment on the plans.

There was some speculation in the wake of Stringer’s comments that he might have been referring to films, but the Sony rep said no specific plans had been made and industry insiders said there had been no talk of such an offering.

There has been buzz about Sony adding videogames to the Connect service, although the company hasn’t yet announced any plans.

The music, videos and any additional offerings will all work with Sony’s recently revealed PSP portable gaming device, unveiled last week at the E3 vidgame confab. It will be launched in North America by next March.

Company has made it clear it plans to use its dominance in the vidgame biz to expand into other media, which both the PSP and the PlayStation 3 console, expected to launch in 2006, will support.

Adding videos and other content such as movies and games would be a logical extension of the Connect service, giving Sony a distribution pipe to provide digital content to its own devices. It also helps to explain the logic behind Connect, which has been dismissed by most analysts as offering too little too late in the online music business against established competitors like Apple’s iTunes.

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