British PS3 owners can now enjoy a range of U.S. television shows that have been added to the U.K. PSN Store. But the range of content is lacking, the lack of a rental option bizarre, and the cost of buying excessive.
PS3 TV Streaming
Games consoles are rapidly becoming the living room devices by which people are consuming digital content. With always-on access to the Internet and a range of apps, widgets, and Web browsers providing a smörgåsbord of choices to the switched-on gamer, home games consoles are doing much more than playing games these days.
Hit U.S. TV shows including 24, Arrested Development (soon to be a Netflix-produced show), Breaking Bad, South Park, and Two and a Half Men are now available to watch on the Playstation Network in the U.K. If you can get your head and your wallet around the obvious issues at hand.
Mo’ Content, Mo’ Problems
The first problem is the sketchy range of content available on the PSN Store. Certain seasons are available for viewing, while others are not. 24 being a good example.
There were eight seasons of the show made and yet only seasons one and six are available to British viewers via PSN. Are they meant to skip five seasons? What about those who wanted to fill in the gaps by buying the odd episode from all eight seasons?
Which brings up the next problem. You have to buy rather than rent. And then by episode rather than season. Why no rental option? I would much rather rent a show, watch it once, and then get on with my life. If I wanted to buy I’d buy a physical copy. Not least so because it’s much cheaper to do so.
Each episode costs between £1.49 and £2,49, which, although on a par with rival services such as Apple iTunes, is still damn expensive. With most U.S. shows stretching to 26 episodes you’re facing a bill of around £50 for one full season. Whereas £50 will buy you all eight seasons in a swanky boxset on DVD.
I love that more content is making it to more digital storefronts, but this scattergun approach to content, removing of options from viewers, and overzealous pricing strategy is going to limit the number of people who make the switch. Which is a crying shame.
[Via The Sixth Axis]
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