Feeds

Sony piques PS3 fans with PlayTV patch fee

You want the firmware update? Cough up

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Sony is to charge PlayStation 3 users for a PlayTV firmware update that brings to the tuner and console the ability to view a seven-day programme guide and record entire series of shows at the push of a button - features DVR owners already take for granted.

The Japanese giant announced the major PlayTV update back in April, and last month added details: the addition of Series Link, support for the TVTV online programme guide, chat-while-you-view over PSN and make recommendations the same way.

Then came the bombshell: "You will be able to get the software update on PS Store at a reasonable price," Sony blogger James Thorpe let slip.

Sony's reasoning: that the update respresents the company's "strong community commitment", that "a lot of effort" went into the firmware's development and that the "premium" update will "make PlayTV a very unique product".

Ignore for the moment the fact that something can't be very unique - it either is, or it isn't one of a kind - the key EPG and series-recording features are, as we say, widely available on other DVRs, and there are already TVs and set-top boxes that let you Tweet or post to Facebook while you're watching.

Sony's right to charge whatever it likes for the products it makes aside, the news that the PlayTV update won't be free has raised plenty of ire-filled comments on the message boards.

As yet Sony is keeping its cards close to its corporate chest as to what it plans to charge for the update - or quite when the update will debut. It's worth noting that the TVTV EPG, which usually is sold on subscription, will be free. But with a perfectly decent over-the-air EPG, we wonder why Sony is bothering with TVTV in the UK.

Sony's action isn't unprecedented - other companies have done the same before. Apple notoriously charged iPod Touch owners for updated system software it was giving away free to iPhone owners, and to bring 802.11n Wi-Fi to early MacBook Pros. ®

Thanks to reader Mike Payne for the tip

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.