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The iPlayer gives the PS3 a place at the heart of the living room

By on September 9, 2009

It’s early days, but a report on the BBC blog suggests that Sony’s vision of a PlayStation at the heart of every living room may have taken a small step closer to reality.

Gaikai screenshot

The PS3 now represents 10% of all iPlayer viewing, making the second most popular platform, behind the PC and ahead of the Mac (8.5%).

This is great news for Sony, which needs to demonstrate that the PS3, with its expensive Blu-Ray hardware and premium price point, can become the dominant home entertainment platform.

In some ways, this isn’t new news. iPlayer has been available on the PS3 since last year, but the experience wasn’t very good. Since then, Sony has:

  • Upgraded its Flash player to support H.264 (whatever that is)
  • Improved fullscreen support
  • Added an icon to offer one-click iPlayer access from the media bar

The BBC has also made some improvements, so that the iPlayer experience is better quality and easier for PS3 viewers.

It’s not a massive win for Sony yet. For a start, it’s a UK-focused effort, and secondly it’s still only 10% of iPlayer viewing.

On the other hand, there are vastly more PCs than PS3s in the UK. The PS3 sits under a big screen. I have to balance my laptop on a dining chair in front of the sofa to watch an iPlayer programme with my wife. The addition of this functionality definitely makes the PS3 more attractive to me.

So three cheers for Sony, for working with content providers and fine-tuning its technology to offer more value to consumers from their PS3.

(Thanks to for the lead.)

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: