Nokia’s Music Store, currently in the UK only, and the N-Gage gaming service, currently delayed until December, are all efforts under a new branding scheme called Ovi. Sony Ericsson wants in on this action too and they have announced plans to launch a service called PlayNow Arena. No details for pricing, but some interesting tidbits include DRM-free content, Windows Media DRM content, themes, wallpapers, ringtones, games and music from all the major publishers. Look for a Q2 launch in select regions and a full blown roll out happening over the course of 2008. Eldar from Mobile Review is saying that in 2009 we should be seeing devices from Sony Ericsson that are highly tuned for gaming (read: PSP phone).
One interesting feature is how they plan to combine the music store with TrackID. You will be able to identify a song using TrackID then purchase it from PlayNow with just one click. Not only that, but Sony Ericsson will keep a database called “Charts” to show you what songs people are identifying all over the world and in your select region. For those who don’t know what TrackID is, you simply hold your phone up to a speaker playing a song, it records a 5 second clip, sends it to a Gracenote server and out pops the name of the song, artist and album. Something I desperately wish Nokia devices had, something that even Ari Jaaksi, a Nokia employee working on Maemo, is impressed with.
[Via: Sony Ericsson]