back to article Sony, MS want control of PS3, Xbox iPlayer, Beeb boss claims

The BBC's launch of a version of its iPlayer for the Wii left one question on gamers’ lips: why isn’t the streaming service also available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3? This week, the broadcaster claimed it’s because Microsoft and Sony were too demanding. Erik Huggers, head of future media and technology at the BBC, said …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Andy Turner

    I'm behind Sony/MS on this one

    “If you want to get [iPlayer] on the PlayStation or Xbox, they want control of the look, the feel and the experience. They want it done within their shop, and their shop only,” Huggers claimed"

    Seems fair enough to me.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    XBOX owners know who they're supporting with their purchase...

    Microsoft... no open browser, a closed, proprietary company... supporting user generated games was such a nice surprise. It'll only be a games machine and perhaps that isn't so bad after all.

    Re: ISP's asking the BBC for money. Well, did they go to Google for YouTube traffic, or bit-torrent companies? Either they go after web site owners and don't cap user downloads, or they charge users for data and don't go after web site vendors. It seems they want to go after both... I support the BBC otherwise who knows where it will end. I guess the transport minister will charge sites like the NEC in Birmingham for excess traffic on the roads next....

  3. Craig

    Xbox 360 doesn't need the iPlayer

    'Cos it's getting its own IPTV service in late 2007... oh hang on ... :(

  4. Albert
    Thumb Up

    PS3 iPlayer

    I like that the PS3 is going to (eventually) get the iPlayer. With the PVR functionality coming down the line as well it is look more and more like the PS3 will replace all the other boxes under my TV.

    It would be nice to have one device.







    This converged living room device is becoming a reality.

  5. Jason Aspinall

    PS3 no worky... of yet. Tried playing an old episode of Eastenders on my PS3 last night, you get as far as a placeholder for the flash movie player, and that's your lot.

    Can't wait for the minor browser update to enable proper viewing... All we need then is HD streaming over the PS3 console to our HD telly's, bye bye Sky!

  6. paul

    Im surprised PS3 doesn't already work.

    It has a web browser (mozilla based) - it has flash (version 7 i think)

    Youtube works. BBC Iplayer doesn't.

    This seems a BBC or Flash problem - not Sony.

    I think perhaps there is some confusion, and BBC and/or Sony wanted it not as a web application , but something accessible from the XMB (OS) of the PS3.

    Tux , cause my linux install on ps3 cannot play iplayer. But can run Myth TV frontend.

  7. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Re: I'm behind Sony/MS on this one

    >>Seems fair enough to me.

    The BBC are doing M$ and Sony a favour here, increasing the appeal of their devices.

    I don't see why the BBC (funded by the licence fee) should spend extra time working with Sony and M$ pandering to their long list of demands (probably incorporating adverts in the process). It's not a good use of the licence payers money.

  8. Graeme Heron

    PS£ browser can now use iPlayer

    See the post above on how to access the BBC iPlayer from your PS3 browser. No need to wait for a browser update.


  9. Anonymous Coward

    why do games consoles need this?

    Sorry if i sound onld fashioned but, THEY'RE GAMES CONSOLES!!!

    why does everyone want 1 box to do it all???

    It's like shitty 'hi-fi' midi systems and mp3 camera phones - one device that does everything, but does it badly.

    If you want to surt the net, get a PC.

    If you want to watch TV, get SKY.

    Why cant consoles just be for playing games like they used to be?

    Then we wouldn't have to spend £400 on a console.

    ...Mines the one with a copy of retro gamer in the pocket!

  10. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    PS3 iPlayer already here.

    Seems the BEEB are not being totally honest with us. The PS3 today, and play Flash7 content in the native Netfront browser. The Wii channel also uses Flash7.

    The above website uses some simple javascript to mess around with the PS3's useragent to make it appear like a Wii to the iPlayer page. And lo and behold the flash7 versions play fine.

    So come on BEEB, why not support the PS3? Have Nintendo paid you off? I thought you were a public company and did not do that sort of thing...

    Something is VERY FISHY here...

  11. marc

    It already works on Xbox 360

    You just download it on the PC, copy into your "My Videos" folders and share using Media Player 11.

  12. Andy Turner


    Sorry mate, but you did that "M$" thing, which means your comments instantly have no credibility whatsoever. However, to reply, there's nothing to suggest that Sony have asked BBC to do the work, quite the opposite in fact, it's that Sony want to encapsulate it themselves that BBC don't like.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    all well and good but....

    iplayer is a catch up service not a delivery channel it has a long way to go before we get 'good HD programs' from the Beeb.. at present the streaming is just watchable buit a bit jerky in places..

  14. Ru

    Re: Im surprised PS3 doesn't already work

    Why does youtube work and iplayer not?

    Easy. DRM.

  15. Paul McCourt
    Thumb Down

    Wii iPlayer Access

    Dunno what Codec they are using but its bloomin crap, like watching a satellite linkup from the 70's.

    And yes I have 8MB broadband and live in the center of London (not that it should help).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I am with the BBC

    On this, and on the ISP thing.

    The wire has a limited Bandwidth, does it matter where the data taking that bandwidth is from?

    What about Apple? you can watch movie trailers from their site?

    I think the BBC has both of these right.

    It should have used Azureus for the P2P stuff though.

  17. Simon Painter

    Not sure why...

    I am not sure why anyone would need to use the iPlayer on their console. I have a 360 and can't think why I would use iPlayer on it as I have TV, media center tv recording and a selection of laptops for watching streaming tv or downloaded content.

    If you don't have a TV or a computer with a browser then tough luck on the BBC content because you probably also don't have a TV license and I don't see why tax^h^h^h licence payers should have to subsidise development of a delivery method for a very small niche of non payers.

  18. jason

    Recently it seems that MS have forgotten about developing Xbox Live etc.

    Its all gone very quiet, no real amazing developments or surprises.

    I checked my 360 a couple of weeks ago and other then a few more movies that you didnt think it worth viewing the first time round, the cupboard was bare.

    Not sure whats going on. My 360 gets used more as a DVD player at the moment.

    I'm refering to UK Live btw.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    I'll be happy when the xbox360...

    I'll be happy when the xbox360 actually gets hd videos in its rental store rather than the bit starved pseudo hd they issue at the moment.

    maybe they should concentrate on doing one thing at a time, eh

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andy Turner

    '“If you want to get [iPlayer] on the PlayStation or Xbox, they want control of the look, the feel and the experience. They want it done within their shop, and their shop only,” Huggers claimed"

    'Seems fair enough to me.'

    Clearly you haven't used the sluggish, buggy, unintuitive abomination that is the PS3 shop.

  21. Ben Bufton

    Never ending...

    This is never ending - they rush something out that doesn't work so well... they get a panning - they take the time they need to get it right... and they end up with this kind of nonsense. <sigh>

    We should all be praising Sony and Microsoft for NOT just sticking link to the iPlayer site and running around telling everybody that they now have BBC content. Instead people just can't see past the fact that it's still a while off on their particular platform. Insane.

    Anybody with an iPod must know that the way iTunes works, all integrated and smooth, is just so much better than loads of bolted on Frankenstein-like additions.

    Don't get me wrong, the Wii is an amazing games machine, but if you're under the impression that sticking a link on the front menu to the BBC website is the future of on-demand TV - you're nuts.

    That PS3 on the other hand - I don't mind going out on a limb here (as I did with its integrated Blu-ray) and say - watch this space... the PS3 is a monster and in 3/4 years time we'll look back on some of the seemingly strange decisions Sony made with it and go: "Ahhh... now I get it"

  22. Matt Hawkins
    Thumb Up

    Well Done BBC

    I'm with the BBC on this.

    Sony and MS either want the content or they don't. They don't fund BBC content or the iPlayer so I don't see why the BBC should run around meeting their silly demands.

    Sony and MS have produced consoles for years now and have only just allowed half hearted XVID playback. I think that sums up their commitment to media functionality.

    If MS and Sony opened up their systems someone out there would not only produce an iPlayer for their console but it would walk all over anything MS or Sony could produce in house. Just like XBMC.

    It seems as if big companies are trying to bully the BBC with demands they wouldn't make of other companies. Well done to the BBC for standing firm.

  23. Jon Brunson

    Re: Im surprised PS3 doesn't already work.

    As you say, the PS3 (and Wii) has a Flash 7 player, the iPlayer requires Flash 8+ (different video encoders), well, it did until Wednesday when they made a Flash 7 compatible iPlayer which, as Graeme pointed out, works fine with the PS3 browser.

    Shame there's no full-screen option though, otherwise I'd ditch VM in a heartbeat (especially after they're trying to charge me £10 for a missed payment - I pay by direct debit, so how's that possible?)

    The BBC have also said they are working on an iPlayer for Wii that will not require the web browser. A iPlayer Channel on Wii? I live in hope.

  24. Graham Marsden

    All your...

    ... BBC are belong to us!

  25. jai

    iplayer on the xmb

    I'm also with Sony on this one - i'd like to see the iPlayer as an option in the XMB, not to be accessed via the browser.

    I've got a keyboard and mouse hooked up to the ps3, but it'd be much faster and easier if the iPlayer was an app on the xmb.

    between that and the freeview that my tv picks up, i'd no longer need to get tv from virgin media

  26. Rob Beard
    Gates Horns

    I'm not surprised that Sony & MS want control...

    I'm not surprised Sony and MS want control, I mean if the Beeb could provide them with streams they could create a nice fancy frontend to fit in with the look of the respective consoles.

    I tried the iPlayer on my Wii and to be honest it looks crap. Jerky low frame rate video that you can't make completely full screen, you can zoom into it but it doesn't run in proper full screen without anything else on the screen. Still I'm not fussed as I just watch the repeats on BBC3.

    Maybe eventually Nintendo will bring out a dedicated iPlayer channel, or maybe the Beeb could sign up to be a WiiWare developer and write their own channel (although I don't see Nintendo giving it away for free, even for UK Wii owners).


  27. Anonymous Coward

    Wait a minute...

    So the BBC want to put up a website that stream media and MS and Sony want to tell them how to do it? WTH?

    Next, these guys will be blocking websites because they don't look pretty enough (and The Register would fail dismally at the moment with that slidey 'Take Our Survey?' thing).

  28. Monkey

    I'm with Giles...

    ...despite owning the Wii, 360 and PS2, as well as using the PC iplayer, I do agree that it isn't a good use of tax payer money to be developing for the consoles like that. Probably slightly hypocritical as I use the PC iplayer I know, but at least it can be argued that the PC is a more widely available platform than the consoles.

    Let MS and Sony have the iplayer, but let them pay for the development and deployment costs. I sure as heck don't want to hand over any more of my dosh to them from my TV license.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PS3 iPlayer here

    So what's the big deal?

  30. Nick

    A surprising insight from a BBC employee...

    "For Microsoft the issue is more tricky because the 360 doesn't have a browser so any service has to "integrate" into Xbox Live.

    "I'm guessing that Microsoft wanted the content but not the iPlayer branding.

    "I also suspect that the BBC's free iPlayer service probably doesn't hold too much commercial interest for Microsoft because the company can't take a cut from the cost of rentals or downloads."

    Hit the nail right on the head there.

  31. Matt

    Reasons for Iplayer on a console...

    Im like most 'normal' people, Yes I do have a Quad processor SGI Onyx in my lounge, but I dont have a PC connected to my tv... I do have my PS3 though... Its not often I want to see somethig from the iplayer, but the odd occasion I do, it would be nice to use the telly instead of my laptop, which, yes I can plug in, but is it really worth the effort?!

    com on sony, your store has no consistancy with either your browser or xmb, so letting the iplayer run as it wants to wont hurt!

  32. Mark Broadhurst

    I can just see how this went ?

    BBC: We would like to have the iPlayer on your consoles.

    Sony & MS: Well its not compatible at the moment.

    BBC: So what yours saying is you don't want our content.

    Sony & MS: Um well we could probably shoehorn it in but it will look crap and run terribley.

    BBC: Thats what Nintendo did with the Wii.

    Sony & MS: Yes well our customers expect a bit more than that maybe we can work together and create a solution.

    BBC: OMG you want to control it!

  33. Liam
    Thumb Up


    @ Albert

    i use an external HD with my ps3 - has all my music on that, plays games, plays movies.... yet people still bitch about it.

    knowing how shite most bbc stuff looks im not surprised that sony want to style it themselves. especially if its in the main OS menus (as they can all be restyled by users)

    re ISPS being funded by BBC - sod off! im actually a virgin media customer - why should i fund this service for shite ISPs. they sell a 10mb line then refuse to let you use it. this is the same ISPs that banged on about all the movies, music and streaming content you can get if you sign up!

    @AC - thats the point - the ps3 isnt JUST A GAMES CONSOLE. its a fully functional media center - i mean you can even get it to stream/sync from your M$ media player library. all my music comes thru the ps3, as do movies and games and all my pictures are on it too. it is actually a decent bit of kit :)

    @Ac2 - "iplayer is a catch up service not a delivery channel it has a long way to go before we get 'good HD programs' from the Beeb" - erm..... BBCHD channel? ive been watching robin hood, torchwood and dr who in glorious 1080i (will it ever go to p tho?) - the HD channel even outputs dolby 5.1 :)

    the think you have to think about is that the VAST MAJORITY of people will never use the iplayer until its on virgin or sky (or freeview somehow) so its a little rich to expect all this funding from the BBC to only supply a few people - a fair few i bet dont live in the uk or have a tv license - but dont get me started on the tv license hehe

    @Mike Richards: i agree the ps3 browser is a bit crap - no idea why. and the ps3 shop is also a bit shite/slow - but its being redone soon :)

    @Jon Brunson - phone VM up and moan - every time i maon at them i get free stuff :) like last time i got a years free xxl tv package and they refunded their mistake straight away

    i also dont remember anything about sony saying they wanted the beeb to fund the design changes they want. i just guess sony want to make it fit into their look and feel of the console

  34. Steve

    Re: Not sure why

    "If you don't have a TV or a computer with a browser then tough luck on the BBC content because you probably also don't have a TV license and I don't see why tax^h^h^h licence payers should have to subsidise development of a delivery method for a very small niche of non payers."

    If they don't have a TV, what would they be using to play the console in the first place/

  35. Steve Sutton
    Gates Horns

    @Andy Turner

    Just curious, but how much *do* you get paid for your comments.

    Do they pay you per post, by the size of your post, or by the best available estimate of number of readers?

    Where can we sign up?

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Im on Microsoft & Sonys side on this.

    Not sure what BBC are expecting - XBox doesnt have a web browser, so it would involve extra development on the part of Microsoft to create an iPlayer section in the Market place, not just a case of a few tweaks to the web browser to get something bodged together.

    On top of which - XBox already has a video market place (no doubt what the guy is complainin about by " look, the feel and the experience") which surelly the BBC could use, and would remove the need for extra development, as well as keeping the user interface as it is.

  37. Steve

    it's the interface stupid...

    I read the blog post and thought fair enough, the iPlayer is all about the universal access principal, it has to be easy enough for your mum to use, so you use one interface on all platforms.

    Before you say oh I'm sure your mum won't use a games console, she loves the wii tennis.

    M$ and Sony want to change the interface, Nintendo do not, and as the blog said...

    "But neither console - at present - support the form of Flash used in the iPlayer.

    Clearly Nintendo is rectifying this - but is also going one stage further and offering a dedicated channel, which acts as a one click button to the iPlayer service."

  38. Neill Mitchell

    Nail 'em up!

    Nail some sense into them!

  39. Liam


    BUT we know they do use the same flash player (7), so its something else the beeb has done to stop the ps3 from accessing it - must be a browser agent.

  40. Julian Garrett

    And fair enough too

    One doesn't invest a bilion or so dollars in a piece of hardware to have some third party, even someone as reputable as the BBC, come along and hand you a piece of software without wanting fairly good control over how it integrates with your system.

    Apple has taught the world how important the look and feel are. And they would be quite right too.

    I'm totally with Sony (and MS, yerk...) on this one.

  41. Anonymous Coward


    The M$ thing is still relevant as Microsoft are obsessed with money, not making good software. If they reduce their prices to something in line with reality, say where they make a 20% markup instead of 90%, and they become focused on making good and secure (ish) software then the M$ thing could be dropped. Until then it stays relevant because of their obsession.

    Let me give you two examples:

    Office 2007 is not about making a good product but extracting as much money from companies as possible. This moved onto the road to failure because of the ODF standard so Microsoft standardised OOXML. Why? Money!

    Vista. 6 different versions of crippleware and if you don't like it you have to pay again to 'downgrade' to XP (unless you already own a full copy).

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PS3 games console

    Some of you have stated "isn't it supposed to be a games console".

    Well, it was originally, but since Sony were sooooo slow in releasing it games makers have picked the 360 as their development platform and simply port stuff over to the PS3 rather than putting any effort into making use of the PS3s undoubted extra power. Theres also the complete lack of a single PS3 "killer" game which would make anyone buy it simply to play that game. 360 had Halo 3, Wii Mario Galaxy, wheres the PS3 only killer game? Answer, there isn't one. Just "pretty" racing games, second rate Halo wanna-bes and not alot else.

    Sony have realised this and are pushing it as anything but a games console.

    Its also interesting that everyone got on the backs of Apple when they wanted control over iPhone apps but Sony are being noble and just in wanting to "protect" the PS3. Shoes on the other foot now huh?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like