2010-07-04

No Bilingualism For You (PlayStation)


Sony's new Play Station Video Store is a great addition to Canadians' options for legally downloadable movies. And unlike Apple's iTunes, Sony respects Canada's duality by offering French language content.

Unfortunately, Sony has made switching from one language to an other quite difficult. In the old days, English and French VHS movies, by Quebec law, competed for shelf space. DVDs solved that thanks to their multiple audio tracks. Movies from the PS3 video store only have one audio track. That is unfortunate, but perhaps makes sense considering the additional data that would be required when downloading (movies don't even have subtitles).

But unlike Apple's iTunes, Sony does offer movies in French. However, unlike the VHS days, the different language versions don't compete for shelf space, they are in different stores! One store for English movies, one store for French movies (at the moment, all dubbed from English).

If you originally selected French as a store interface language, you can chose from 29 movies dubbed in French. That's it. No English for you. The solution is to start an other account and select the other language. New username, password, addresse, credit card number, all that to rent a movie in Canada's other official language! Nuts (although once you have wasted those 10 minutes of your life, switching users (and therefore languages) is easy).

Here is the confirmation I got from Sony: 

Thank you for writing us about the Video Download Service and language availability. When you register a PlayStation(R)Network account, a language is selected and associated with that account. Unfortunately, there is no way to change or edit the content based on that language selection aside from registering a different account. Please accept our apologies in advance for any inconvenience this may cause

But once again, at least Sony does offer some movies in French (albeit, at the moment, none as an original language). Shame on Apple on that front (Strangely, Apple does offer movies and TV in Apple Store France (unavailable in Canada)).

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