Sony and HBO have reached an agreement to bring HBO content to the Sony PlayStation Network, but all provided content will only be available after months of delays to prevent consumers from dropping cable and satellite service.
This marks the first time HBO will offer content through a game console, which is a significant victory for Sony, as they continue to strengthen their online content portfolio. PSN users now have access to the first two seasons of “True Blood,” three seasons of “Big Love,” two seasons of “Entourage,” and the first season of “Eastbound and Down.”
Episodes from “The Sopranos,” “Rome,” “Da Ali G Show,” “Sex and the City,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Flight of the Conchords,” and “The Wire” will also be available. Each episode will cost $3 for PS3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP) owners to download and view, the two companies said.
Moving forward, episodes will be released around 11 months after premiering on HBO — the company’s attempt to avoid interfering with the current pay-TV industry, so consumers aren’t likely to try and cut the cord.
“HBO is a high-profile content provider, and a real premium service, so we think this really reinforces that the PlayStation is more than just a video-game console now,” said Jack Tretton, Sony PlayStation CEO, said in a statement published by the Wall Street Journal. “It gives consumers that big-screen, HD experience in the home on a device other than cable and satellite, and that’s becoming the norm now as opposed to the exception.”
As Microsoft and Sony continue to battle for content partnerships with movie studios and cable networks, it’ll be interesting to see if the industry will fracture as sides are chosen. I think content providers, if given the opportunity, should offer material for PS3 and Xbox 360 owners alike, although Microsoft and Sony could force them to pick sides with exclusivity agreements.