We’ve seen the future, and it’s Play TV. Forget distopian cyber-punk and Skynet-wasted landscapes, Sony know what’s up and Play TV is set to revolutionalise the way we use our favourite console. It was clear from day one that the PS3 would wedge itself into our media hub, with its ever growing video playback codecs, built-in hard drive, Blu-ray player and open internet browser, so the only thing missing was to watch live television, but that’s soon to change this Spring with Play TV.
The tiny black box connects to your PS3 via a USB port (so unplug Guitar Hero) and whatever RF aerial you normally use to connect to your TV or Freeview box (other brands of free-to-view television are available) and that’s it – the XMB will automatically show a ‘TV’ icon on the horizontal row and you can use the Sixaxis, Blu-ray remote or your PSP to browse the program guide, watch and even record TV.
Play TV supports both standard and high-definition broadcasts (and can record them too) although HD over Freeview is a service we’ve yet to see here in the UK. Regardless, all the normal functions of a Sky+ box or one of those Virgin things are replicated here, including pausing and rewinding any show you’re watching, using the PS3’s hard drive to cache the information.
With no subscription charge and the ability to archive any recordings you make (store them on DVD for example) Play TV is the ultimate PVR, and we can’t wait to get our mitts on the final version when it’s released. As for the price, nobody outside of SCEE knows yet, but we’re going to make an educated guess at £69.99. Watch this space.