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Sony to Launch "Storyteller" Service on the PlayStation?

A rumor came across my inbox on Tuesday and while I still don’t know yet if it’s true or not, it’s definitely one worth sharing.

The UK gaming blog MCV is reporting that Sony has a new content service in the works. According to their source, Sony plans to announce Storyteller, a new ebook service for the PS (and possibly the Vita). It’s supposed to be unveiled next week at the  E3 Expo in Los Angeles, and the content would be sold in the Playstation Store.. There’s no firm details on what the content will be, but MCV is reporting that the focus will be on interactive ebooks with children as the intended audience.

But I wouldn’t take MCV’S word for much; here’s what they thought of the program:

Sony will have to take on major players like Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad, however, if it wishes to claim meaningful slice of the market. It’s a sector the company has dabbled in before with its now closed PSP comics offering.

Yeah, if you think content on the PS3 is the same market as the Kindle then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Nevertheless, I don’t have evidence either way but the details fit together too well. I think Storyteller does exist, though I’m not sure it has anything to do with ebooks. There’s a chance that it might in some way be related to the digital comics service that Sony offers on the PSP. That service launched in 2009 but appears to not have added new content after July 2011.

My guess is that this will more likely be some kind of video service with a focus on kids.   The name Storyteller implies telling stories, not how they’re told. Doesn’t it seems more likely that Sony would sell movies that ebooks? After all, kids already watch videos on TV.

What’s more, I don’t see how anyone would want to read an ebook on a 50″ screen – at least not anything I’d recognize as an ebook.  Now, I could see some ebook apps being adapted to the new platform, but that’s not the same thing. It would be closer to watching Sesame Street than it would be to reading an ebook.


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Simon May 31, 2012 um 1:03 pm

Well, there could be a market for specialized, gaming-related ebooks (guides, novelizations etc.).

It is a growing trend for various media "platforms" (like newspapers) to publish short ebooks. Consoles could be a similar platform.

Niche for sure. But one perhaps, after development costs are spent, that could be marginally profitable.

SteveH May 31, 2012 um 10:23 pm

Yikes..a subset of a subset as a market. Sounds doomed to failure to me…

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