Vudu Lands on PS3, Updates UI, Dumps Apps

Later this month, Vudu lands on the PS3. And if they’re not the top HD movie streaming service (in terms of quality), they surely fall amongst the top two (with Xbox Live Zune HD being the other). I’m not quite sure what these means as far as Sony’s own PS3 video store, but console owners are about to see a very nice VOD upgrade.

In other Vudu news, they’ve announced version 2.0 will launch next month and includes a refreshed UI. Although, by my count, the new interface would actually be the third iteration (for those who own original Vudu hardware). Actually, this update could even be classified 4.0 as my system software is already identifies itself as 3.0. But never mind those details, they mess with the marketing message. ;)

What I first noticed when reviewing the screencaps earlier this week are the missing Vudu Apps, like Facebook, Flickr, etc. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a definitive answer out of Vudu’s PR team on this…

VUDU’s focus is on the (over) 4,000 HD titles they have in their library. They are very much looking forward to expanding their TV content as well.

In most cases, it would make sense to dump the apps. They don’t directly generate revenue (for Walmart), like Vudu’s core content business, and most Vudu partners have their own app platforms (that Vudu plugs into) – making it somewhat redundant. On the other hand, apps encourage original Vudu owners to fire up their box more frequently which could indeed lead to additional movie rentals or purchases.

As far as the new UI, it looks quite nice — both attractive and functional. In fact, not only is the new tab-based interface designed for efficient remote control they say they took alternate input methods into account, including pointer remotes like The Loop or PS3 Move. Beyond the visuals, Vudu says we should expect new browsing, filtering, and recommendation capabilities.

Click to enlarge:

4 thoughts on “Vudu Lands on PS3, Updates UI, Dumps Apps”

  1. Like the PS3 integration, but the apps ARE key.

    things like youtube, pandora, flikr, picassa, net access for things like news, videos, etc. I use them quite a lot actually. I certainly hope they don’t fully cripple it all

  2. Nice to see them working on it even though existing interface is already very simple to use, at least with Vudu box’s remote. But since they are moving to software-only model, they probably had to tweak it to work with other remote types.

    VUDU on PS3… Wow, I’m still really surprised by this. I can understand having Netflix as a companion on a console (since it’s a subscription service), but having a different VOD provider that competes with PSN’s video store? That’s pretty refreshing.

    Any thoughts on why Sony decided to pick up VUDU, Dave?

    P.S. Apps staying in would be nice.

  3. The only two things I can think of are 1) Vudu has already negotiated terms with the content providers and has produced a high quality solution (which is better/broader than Sony’s existing download store) and 2) Walmart suggested Sony offer it in exchange for in-store product pumping. But who knows.

  4. The reason Sony is using VUDU is it makes money for providing the service regardless if you use Sony’s movie service or VUDU or Netflix Sony makes money. Sony Playstation is a “Media Mall” ™

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