Sony plans to expand its Music Unlimited streaming service to more of its gaming hardware, the company reportedly told Eurogamer in an interview published yesterday.
Speaking to the gaming publication, Shawn Layden, executive vice president and CEO of Sony Network Entertainment, said that Music Unlimited would be made available on the PlayStation Portable "in a matter of weeks." He then turned his attention to Sony's upcoming gaming device, codenamed the Next Generation Portable (NGP), which the company plans to release at the end of 2011.
"We will make it happen," Layden said to Eurogamer in reference to bringing Music Unlimited to the NGP. He went on to tell the publication that he believes his company's services need to be available on that device.
Music Unlimited, which came to the U.S. earlier this year, allows users to stream millions of songs on a slew of the company's devices, including its Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players, and the PlayStation 3. The company's $3.99 per month basic plan includes access to the service on those devices, as well as the ability to sync existing music playlists with the user's computer. It also provides full access to the service's personalization offering.
Music Unlimited's premium option, priced at $9.99 per month, comes with all the features available in its basic plan, plus the ability to access so-called "premium channels." Most importantly, it allows for unlimited playback of the available tracks.
Sony's long-term plans with Music Unlimited have been speculated about for quite some time, due mainly to the company's own comments about its future.
Speaking earlier this year with Australia's The Age, Michael Ephraim, head of Sony Computer Entertainment in Australia, said that Music Unlimited might eventually cause his company to think twice about its partnership with Apple and iTunes.
"If we do [get mass take-up] then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?'' Ephraim asked during his interview with The Age. ''Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that's the format right now."
But over the next several years, Sony doesn't seem so convinced of the importance of Apple's iTunes.>
"Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold," Ephraim said.