In the wake of PS3 unlock hacks released by Geohot and fail0verflow, Sony has felt it necessary to issue a statement warning users away from such activities. In a recent statement, the console maker made it clear that the use of these tools to run unsigned content will result in a permanent PSN ban. This is a similar stance to that of Microsoft on Xbox piracy.
Tony Soprano, Bill Henrickson, Ali G, and other HBO personalities are now available in the U.S. on the PlayStation 3, as Sony has gone and inked a deal to offer HBO programming through the PlayStation Network (PSN), Sony announced this week.
"The HBO library of premium original content is a perfect example of how PS3 has become the most content rich entertainment platform in the living room," said Peter Dille, senior vice president, marketing and PlayStation Network, SCEA. "When you combine the iconic programming from HBO with the existing TV, film, live sports and original programming available on PlayStation Network, our customers have access to the content they want, when they want it, at home or on the go with the PSP."
Several titles are available on the HBO section of PSN, including True Blood (season one and two), Big Love (seasons one through three), Entourage (seasons one and two), Eastbound and Down (season one), and multiple seasons from HBO signature shows such as The Sorpranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Rome, Da Ali G Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Flight of the Conchords.
Sony says it plans to add more seasons and shows on a weekly basis.
Is it just us, or does Sony have some sort of masochistic fetish with pissing off its consumer-base? Sure, the whole rootkit fiasco happened an eternity ago (in Internet years, anyway), so why dredge up old feelings of anti-Sony sentiment by charging for the Playstation Network (PSN)? Probably because Microsoft contniues to get away with charging for its Xbox Live service.
Before you bust out the pitchforks and coat the tips with rust, keep in mind that nothing is official yet, and may never be, but it sure sounds like something's brewing.
"Will we charge for it or why don't we charge for it? It's been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at," Peter Dillie, head of the PSN, said in a recent interview with IGN. "That's something that we're actively thinking about. What's the best way to approach that if we were do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about."
It seems that Dillie raises more questions than answers, such as how seriously is Sony really considering charging for PSN, and how would the fee structure break down?
Xbox Live is a major money-spinner for Microsoft's gaming division, one which both Sony and Nintendo envy. Sony is currently trying to replicate Live's success with its very own PSN service and the wide array of new additions to PSN might help Sony in its endeavor. One of the new additions happens to be the Playstation video downloading service, which is now live.
Users can rent or purchase SD or HD content from various leading TV and movie stables including Fox, MGM, Warner and Disney etc. TV videos begin at $1.99, while movie rentals and purchases begin at $2.99 and $9.99 respectively.
Several reports frequenting the internet seem to suggest that the service is not available in all regions/countries. But there is no word on this issue from Sony. Limited launch or not, Wedbush Morgan’s videogame analyst Michael Pachter believes that availability of videos on PSN can lure potential Apple TV owners towards the PS3.