BBC: Sony, MS wanted to "control" streaming video on their consoles

A day after the BBC announced a version of its iPlayer streaming video service for the Wii, an obvious follow-up question arises: "Why isn't a similar service available for the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well?" A partial answer from BBC Future and Technology Group Coordinator Erik Huggers, who said in a BBC's blog that Sony and Microsoft weren't willing to open up their infrastructures to the iPlayer. "If you want to get 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 said.

The BBC blogger uses this as a leaping-off point to declare that the Wii's deal with the BBC "makes something of a mockery" of the multimedia capabilities of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Never mind that the Wii can't even play DVDs (much less Blu-ray discs) or that the system offers no way to download video for permanent, offline viewing. According to the BBC's blogger, Nintendo is "bridging the gap between the web and the TV" in a way that its competitors aren't.

Regardless, the implication that Sony and Microsoft are unwilling to accommodate online video outside the walled garden of their narrow, profit-generating shop services is a little upsetting. The beauty of having a machine connected to the internet should be the ability to access the wide array of free content on that internet, not just the opportunity to buy things from the console maker and its partners.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.