Sony Video Unlimited-preview brings Gracenote metadata to SEN

Despite one of its execs pegging this spring's lengthy PSN outage as a "great experience" the folks at Sony have been pounding the pavement to drum up consumer morale. Back at IFA, the outfit unveiled its new all-in-one Sony Entertainment Network, and its already giving the VOD wing, Video Unlimited, a facelift. Starting today, PS3 owners holding a PlayStation Plus subscription can download the creatively titled "Video Unlimited-preview" app from the PlayStation Store. According to Sony, the new user interface is all about giving the people what they want, and in this case that means a streamlined UI, with big bright graphics and understated, glowing blue text. It also means Gracenote integration, opening up the possibility of endless rabbit-holes of related content searches. We had a few minutes with the new setup, and found ourselves searching content related to Danny McBride's Your Highness under categories like "Bumbling Buffoons" and "Mythical Beasts," although we could just as easily have called up titles featuring the film's director or any of its stars.

If that's not enough of a departure from the conventional video on demand arrangement, the new UI also features "tumbler search technology," which abandons regular keyboard-style input for PS3 controls -- click the right button to select a letter as you scroll vertically through the alphabet. This "patented technology" also autocompletes your query and similarly takes advantage of Gracenote's database, allowing you to search by title, actor, director or tag. The new UI is specific to the company's video service and is currently only available via the PS3, but we're told it will roll out to the entire network and supported devices sometime in the future. All PlayStation Network users will be able to download the preview app starting October 11th, check out a video preview embedded after the break.