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YouTube optimised for PS3 and Wii
TechCrunch reports that YouTube is launching its video service on PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii (but apparently not in the UK. The blog post referenced by TechCrunch doesn’t appear to be accessible from London). Users can point the console browser to www.youtube.com/tv and get a cut-back, easy-to-navigate version of youtube offering “a dynamic, lean-back, 10-foot television viewing experience”
YouTube is desperate to get onto TV sets while the console manufacturers are keen to emphasise the role of the console as the home hub of an entertainment system. Microsoft, which has been shouting from the rooftops about the value of a single home hub, is noticeably absent from this announcement.
But for the console to become a true home hub, users will need to be able get all the web-based content that they want in a browser on their TV screen. At that point, the console manufacturers lose their gatekeeper role and can no longer limit what appears on the console. That’s a really big issue for companies whose business model is dependent on getting a cut of every piece of software sold for their platform in order to subsidise the huge development costs of the hardware.
Getting their heads around the loss of the gatekeeper role is going to be one of the biggest issues facing senior executives at the console manufacturers for their next few years.