Sony to launch PlayStation 3 photo suite this week, to link with cloud service

Sony's 'PlayMemories Studio' will allow editing and slide shows using the game console

Sony said Monday it will sell new photo editing software for the PlayStation 3 this week, as it prepares for the global launch of its cloud-based photo service.

The company's "PlayMemories Studio" software lets owners of the game console use it to edit and view photos or video uploaded from cameras or camcorders. Users can simulate stop-motion videos, add sound and video effects including subtitles and color schemes, and upload files to Facebook. Files stored on a PlayStation can also be viewed and edited using Sony's handheld Vita and PlayStation Portable consoles.

The software will link into Sony's upcoming "PlayMemories Online" cloud service, which is to be launched in the next few months. The electronics giant has made linking its various devices through online services a major priority going forward, much the way rival Apple allows sharing with its own iCloud service across its phones, tablets, and computers. Other manufacturers such as Samsung are also said to be rolling out their own cloud platforms.

Phones and tablets are increasingly becoming a threat to dedicated gaming devices as their hardware evolves to better handle advanced graphics and processing. Similarly, Sony has stressed that recent game consoles such as the Vita are not just for gaming, releasing map, photo, and chat applications.

The new software will go on sale in the online PlayStation Store Tuesday in the U.S., Wednesday in Europe, and Thursday in Japan, a spokesman said. In Japan the software will cost ¥1,500 (US$18), with a free 30-day trial version available. A free version of the PlayMemories software is available to purchasers of new Sony camera models.

PlayMemories Online will have 5GB of storage and allow images and videos to be uploaded using a PC or phone, then viewed across devices including tablets, TVs and Sony's digital photo frames.

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Jay Alabaster

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