Frankly speaking, this wasn’t something we expected PlayStation to do so soon. Primarily because the certified hardware to run Imax Enhanced content is very limited. This is not a complaint but a fact, so it’s a bit surprising for us. If you don’t know what Sony Pictures Core is, it’s basically the new name for the Bravia Core app which was limited and exclusive to Sony Bravia tellies. The app has almost all Sony Pictures’ latest movies, Spider-Man and all, but the kicker is that it also has a list of movies that can be streamed in Imax Enhanced along with support for Sony’s Pure Stream throughput which streams content at 80Mbps. In comparison, Netflix's 4K HDR is around 15 to 17Mbps. Sony claims the Pure Stream content offers the highest bitrate of any content streaming service and we agree. Our time with the Sony Bravia XR A80L OLED review was proof enough for us.
So what does it mean for a PlayStation 5 and 4 owner? Well, firstly it makes your dusty old PS4 a lot more useful since it can output Imax Enhanced content. We’re not sure if Pure Stream is going to be part of this on the PlayStation. PlayStation wasn’t vocal about Pure Stream on their blog or whether or not it is coming to the Sony Pictures Core app on the PlayStation. So for now, consider Imax Enhanced and content from Sony Pictures as part of this deal.
Secondly, you can download the Bravia Core app starting today in select markets (India is not on the list yet). You can buy or rent Sony movies directly on the app. And some movies like Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story will be timed exclusives to the app only before going to other platforms.
Here’s the fun part, if you’re a PlayStation Plus Premium or Deluxe member, you’ll get access to a curated catalog of up to 100 movies through the Sony Pictures Core app to stream on demand from the Sony Pictures library as part of your membership. This is ad-free and updated periodically like Netflix. Sony has also acquired Crunchyroll so expect anime content in the future as well.
Now there are only a few tellies, sound systems and projectors that support Imax Enhanced so be sure to cross-check those before you start purchasing or renting movies. In India, Sony’s premium Bravia TVs and projectors, TCL TVs and Hisense TVs support Imax Enhanced content. For sound, LG soundbars and Polk Audio are the ones you can find to complete the setup and then throw in Onkyo, Denon, Marantz and McIntosh AV receivers to make it hi-fi.
Oh, and the fine print says a minimum of 9 Mb/s is required for PS5 consoles and 2 Mb/s for PS4 consoles for Imax Enhanced playback so expect some irregularities between the Imax content’s bitrate but you’ll still get that big 1.90:1 Imax aspect ratio.