The personal video market is in for a shakeup, after Sony launched a $169.95 PlayTV accessory that can be plugged into a PS3 Playstation gaming console. The device which has been on sale in Europe for over 12 months allows users to watch and record live high-definition TV.
The device that includes twin HD tuners could hurt sales of TiVo and products like the new Viewsonic media centre due out next week in Australia.
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The new device will also allow consumers to download movie and video content from a new Sony store; will be launched next year in the first quarter of 2010 in Australia.
Missing from the device is an independent electronic program guide, similar to the IceTV offering. This would have allowed Sony to attach metadata on movies and videos purchased from their online store.
The new device which goes on sale on November26 will potentially hurt sales of both the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox 360 as it allows Sony to add one more capability to their product offering that already includes a Blu ray player and gaming console.
In response Microsoft has said that they will shortly launch a HD movie service for Xbox 360 users in Australia however the problem they face is that Sony has a Blu ray player built. Microsoft on the other hand has no HD player after they backed the failed HD DVD format.
All Microsoft can offer is expensive downloads or movies played on a traditional DVD player which does not deliver the same content experience as what Sony can offer withv their Blu ray player.