GC 07: Europeans Get TV Tuner and PVR for PS3, Video Downloads on PSP

Sony announced a smattering of entertainment enhancements for both PlayStation 3 and PSP at the Leipzig Games Convention today, though all the products apply to European territories only. PlayTV, a TV tuner and personal video recorder for PS3, and a PSP video download service will both launch in early 2008.

Europeans in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain will be able to use the PlayTV's dual TV tuners to watch high definition programming while recording separate programming at the same time. The TiVo-like accessory will give the option to record whole seasons in 1080p, and shows can be transferred to PSPs as well. PSP owners with Wi-Fi access can also use their handhelds to schedule recordings, watch TV, and stream recorded programs to their portables.

"PS3 already provides High Definition gaming, Blu-ray Disc movies, music, video, photo album, web browsing and PlayStation Network support," said SCEE president David Reeves. "With the introduction of PlayTV's state of the art TV tuner and PVR functionality, PS3 is now the best choice of home entertainment hub for the whole family."

The release did not mention pricing for the PlayTV accessory nor the ongoing programming guide and recording service.

Also beginning in 2008, PSP owners in the UK and Ireland will be able to make use of British Sky Broadcasting's video on-demand services to wirelessly download content a la carte to their handhelds. Sports, entertainment, music, and animated TV programming will be available, as well as movies on a pay-per-view basis.

Europeans in these territories without Wi-Fi access can download programing to their PCs and then transfer these videos to PSPs. No pricing scheme was announced for the service.

The planned PS3 PVR capabilities were revealed earlier this month, though no information on a North American rollout of the accessory has surfaced.