Inside Move: Sony slow to get pix online

Company has yet to launch movie downloads

After becoming an also-ran in the online music market, Sony is starting to fall behind in online movie distribution as well.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, company said it would launch movie downloads via its online musicstore, Connect, by March. Digital movies were to be viewable on PCs and on the PSP, Sony’s successful handheld gaming device.

But March has come and gone with no movies on Connect.

Service now isn’t looking likely to relaunch, with movies and possibly other content such as videogames, until the fall.

It may be tied into the launch of PlayStation 3, which will have a broadband connection and would give Connect the ability to play content on TVs instead of just PCs.

Worldwide launch of the PS3 was recently pushed back from spring to November.

Delay is embarrassing for Sony, since Movielink and CinemaNow added online movie sales to their digital rental services this week.

Connect musicstore debuted a year after iTunes and was never able to catch up with Apple’s market-dominating service.

By pushing back the launch, tech/entertainment giant has missed the chance to be among in the first wave of digital movie e-tailers.

Online movie sales looks to be a slower-growing market, however, giving Sony more of a chance to catch up. Other major e-tailers such as Amazon.com and Apple are expected to launch their digital moviestores later this year as well.