Yesterday the first official Google TV site launched and no doubt left a permanent time stamp in history as apps officially make their way to televisions. Several applications such as CNBC Real-Time, Napster, NBA Game Time, Netflix, and Pandora are all shown working on Google TV devices with many more apps to follow very soon. One of the most desired would of course be Hulu Plus but at the moment, no details have surfaced.
However, Hulu Plus and Netflix functionality are already on the PS3. Strangely enough Sony promised PS3 owners disc-less based Netflix streaming by the end of October. Is this a coincidence or does Sony have something up their sleeve?
Many PS3 owners have complained about the current Netflix application along with the lackluster built-in browser and the fact that SCEA has failed to release a TV tuner device for the United States. But when you look at the actual features of Google TV, each one of those issues can be easily addressed by adding Google TV to the PS3. Netflix instantly becomes disc-less. Google Chrome replaces or becomes an additional option to the built-in PS3 browser. Sony no longer needs a TV tuner device for US customers because of their numerous streaming options, yet they could introduce tuner hardware October 12th that will integrate your cable or satellite subscription with all the other media options on Google TV.
Surely Google would have no objection to a potential 38 million plus console owners adopting Google TV. This would give them a potential base to compete with Apple in the future.
But what about Sony? Are they willing to take the gamble and change the dynamics of the XMB to accommodate another operating system?
Why not? They gave consumers the ability to install other operating systems until unsavory characters abused the privilege. Not only will this be a huge boon to their customers as many will no doubt upgrade their PS3s, but many more will buy entirely new consoles to get Google TV functionality.
With the addition of Google TV, comes additional value to the PS3. Value they can use to squash all the hype surrounding Microsoft’s new programs like ESPN 3 on Xbox Live. Sony gives you Google TV and all you have to pay for is the hardware while Microsoft charges you $60 a year for less functionality. Then again, Sony could choose to include Google TV in their PSN Plus package and share some of that revenue with its supporting cast.
Either way, Google and Sony would be a partnership that few could rival and a value that is impossible to top. Think of all the voice activated apps on Android that could be used on the PS3 with the camera mic or via Bluetooth. The synergy between Google TV, Android, and the PS3 is something both companies could build upon for years to come.
On October 12th, perhaps Sony’s PS3 slogan becomes irrefutably true: “It only does everything.”