Sony unveils PlayTV telly tuner for PS3
Record and play digital TV on your console
Sony has unveiled its forecast TV tuner for the PlayStation 3, enabling users in Europe to record and watch digital TV on their games console, Sky+ style.
The announcement was made at the Leipzig games show in Germany - a show being heralded by many as the new E3, or at the very least a respectable European equivalent to E3.
The twin-tuner add-on will be called PlayTV and will launch early in 2008 in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, with other countries soon after. This is the first time a console has been given digital video recorder (DVR) capabilities, offering gamers access to free channels that are delivered over digital terrestrial TV.
David Reeves, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, claimed PlayTV would extend the "broad entertainment credentials of PS3". He said the accessory would be priced between $135 and $200.
Console competitor Microsoft has promoted its Xbox 360 as a platform for internet TV - but its Xbox Live video download service, does not offer live TV, only downloadable movies and television shows, and only within the US.
PSP users will be able to download PlayTV-recorded content and play it on their handhelds. However, Sony said it will also offer a video download service for the portable console, developed in conjunction with satellite broadcaster Sky and called Go!. It's due to launch in the UK in January.
Sony also announced details of a video chat and instant messaging system for the PSP, called Go!Messenger, this one co-developed by BT and also to be launched in January. Sony and BT said in May this year that they were working together on PSP messaging applications.
Finally, the PSP is also set to get its own GPS add-on, called Go!Explore. Unfortunately, no pricing details for any of the new PSP features were given.
--"Incidentally, why should the "President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe" be quoting a price in $ at all?"
My thoughts exactly! The president of the European arm of a Japanese company quoting a price for a device to be made available initially in the UK and Euro-land quoting a price in US$? The world's gone MAD!
And 135-200 is hardly a particularly precise range in any currency. Why not just say $165 +/- 20%??
Re: "Entirely pointless in the UK"
"In reality I can't see much use for this in the UK, where most people have some form of cable or Sky TV."
I think not - there are huge numbers of people who aren't daft enough to pay a subscription on top of their licence fee and advertising levies to watch even more channels of crap than they can get without further cost. But, to be fair, a lot of those wouldn't have or want a PS3 either.
I agree the price for the PVR unit is a bit on the costly side if indeed it is £125 or so, but if it's an actually conversion of $125USD, then it's quite a fine price.
Either way, it is stupid to say the device is pointless as people own boxes already. That's a load of crap. There are many who still don't, and there will be many who are yet to buy one (ie kids growing up, people moving out/moving places, people arriving in the country, etc). Also people often like the convinience of a unit which 'does it all'.
Microsoft's IPTV is nothing special compared to live TV abilities, it's all pre-recorded, it's an iTunes for Video essentially, but just real time streaming of it. It's no where near as flexible or varied in content as real live TV. Microsoft is falling behind by only offering such limited services.
That said, I don't consider it a bad idea to have, therefore it is good that the PSP and the PS3 will be able to use downloaded video content, but just makes the PS3 even more superior than the XBox360 when it comes to home entertainment devices.
However the PS3 is still overpriced, and I would like Sony to take only one lesson from Microsoft by dropping the prices (as none other is worth following unless you like Microsoft's overheating pathetically noisy consoles which doesn't even ship with any next gen drives to facilitate for the potential of the console, but makes you pay more for it, meaning it wont even necessarily be supported by developers!)