The PlayStation 3 is the slow seller in the United States but Sony still holds belief in their “10 year plan.” Many of us consider this to be the same style of plan Sony used with the PS2, sell your console through multiple generations and own the market share. The PS2‘s launch was much more graceful when compared to its 7th generation counterpart. Perhaps the PS3 has a different destiny… perhaps they want to remove all other media boxes from your living room.
Imagine a life without a cable box or Tivo and you’re probably envisioning Sony’s road map for a media distribution empire. First, remove Tivo from the situation with a DVR style box using their PlayTV technologies, wired up to the PlayStation 3 using a USB connection. The United States hasn’t seen a launch of PlayTV, more than likely because the PS3 isn’t a huge console here yet and Tivo is partnered with many cable and satellite providers already.
Senior director of the PlayStation Network, Susan Panico said Sony “looks aspirationally at HBO, the way they have Sex and the City and other shows” (gamespot) after admitting Sony wants to replace cable boxes in the home. Tivo has already done a great job removing the need for a cable box, allowing you to rent a “cable card” to insert into a Tivo and gain access to all their content for your DVR needs. DirectTV offers (or has in the past) a Tivo or Tivo-like DVR solution. Cable and DirectTV offer the ability to rent their DVR or offer a solution to purchase your own at a retail outlet What if Sony decides to partner with one or more of these providers to offer an all-in-one solution. PS3 owners wouldn’t have to purchase additional equipment and could be up and running immediately with hard disks big enough to handle HD content.
Sony could offer you a graphically appealing gaming experience, a high definition BluRay solution, media distribution for renting movies, an iTunes style online store for purchasing and playing music all wrapped up in a DVR solution. All this content for a $400 price tag is a value when all the offers are combined into one tiny black box.
Looking at today’s Tivo Series3 HD DVR you’ll notice the ability to play music directly from iTunes, browse and play Youtube shows, watch Disney offerings and even high definition NetFlix playback. The Tivo DVR’s can also talk with other DVR’s in the household making it easy to share TV records across systems. The only thing missing in the Tivo solution is a high definition gaming platform and the BluRay hardware.
We’re all sitting here poking fun at the small PS3 game library and telling people that BluRay is going to lose out to HD downloads yet we may be missing the bigger picture: an all-in-one media empire solution. The PS3 may not carry the largest game library compared to the Xbox 360 or the sales records of the Wii but if Sony finds a way to become a reliable and required media set top box they may realize their true “10 year plan.”