As expected, Sony has announced that it is bringing high-definition video downloads to the PlayStation 3 in the near future. The company has chosen the 13 December launch of driving game Gran Turismo 5 Prologue to kick start the service in Japan with motor-racing related content.

Initial offerings that will appear around the time of the game launch include a documentary about the Nissan car featured in the game, with paid-for HD TV content coming in early January.

Petrolheads rejoice

The programming will include more than just content for GT5 fans, although one of the first shows scheduled to be made available is the BBC's Top Gear, which can't be expected to find mainstream success in the Far East, so more titles are sure to follow rapidly.

Over time, the company expects to expand the range of material available for download to include films from Sony Pictures and, presumably, other movie studios as well. There's no word on pricing or availability outside Japan yet.