Google’s Play Store isn’t about just music any more. The latest addition to the offering is the Google Play Movies feature. Users will now be able to download or rent movies, directly on their devices, in High Definition or Standard Definition versions. This is the latest feature to be bolted on to the Play Store offering for India, after the Books store and the sale of Nexus devices directly - the Nexus 7 tablet being the first offering.
From what we understand, there are relatively recent movies available on the Store, across the Bollywood and Hollywood genres. Examples of them being – Argo, Ek Tha Tiger, Total Recall, The Amazing Spiderman and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The pricing is not uniform throughout, neither for renting the movie or for buying it outright. For example, Ek Tha Tiger is available to rent for Rs. 100 (SD version) and Rs. 150 (HD version), and can be purchased for Rs. 490 (SD version) and Rs. 590 (HD version). Alternatively, the movie Ted can be rented for Rs. 126 (SD version) and Rs. 157 (HD version), or can be purchased for Rs. 490 (SD version) and Rs. 650 (HD version). There is differential pricing even between two movies from the same genre.
If you are renting a movie, you can start watching the movie anytime within 30 days of clicking on “Rent”, but once you do start watching it, you will have to finish viewing it within the next 48 hours.
What is slightly more confusing is the differential offering across movies. Some movies are only available for download with no rent option, and some only have the rent option and you cannot buy them still. For example, you can only buy The Bourne Legacy for Rs. 490 (SD version) and Rs. 650 (HD version), with no rent option. If, however, you wish to watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, you can only rent it for Rs 120 (SD version) and Rs 150 (HD version), but there is no option of buying it yet.
While there seems to be a fairly good collection of the recent and popular Hollywood movies, Bollywood movie collection still needs a fair amount of work.
Google has launched this service in India after Apple, which launched the iTunes store in India and certain other countries recently. But, from what we have seen, the iTunes store definitely had an advantage in terms of the variety in the Library of Bollywood movies, but Google Play Movies seems to have more of the recent Hollywood stuff available at launch time. Everything said and done, your preference will be dictated with which device you own.
Screenshot of Google Play Movies
Source: Google Play