BBC: Sony, Microsoft wanted more control, so Wii got iPlayer *UPDATE*

BBC iPlayer - Image 1Sony and Microsoft have always trumpeted the next-gen multimedia capabilities of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. But why is the iPlayer, the popular online video service from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) with the Nintendo Wii instead? BBC’s Darren Waters sheds some light over at the full article.

BBC iPlayer website - Image 1 

It’s no secret that the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 have more advanced next-gen capabilities than the Nintendo Wii. But guess who scored a major coup by acquiring the British Broadcasting Corporation’s iPlayer? The Wii.

How did this happen? It seems both Sony and Microsoft wanted to have more handle on the BBC iPlayer. BBC’s Darren Waters quotes colleague Erik Huggers:

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.

Currently, these claims haven’t been substantiated with official confirmation from either Sony or Microsoft. Whatever MS and Sony had in mind, however, forced BBC’s video download expansion plan – originally served to all three gaming companies – to look to Nintendo.

Nintendo offered a one-click button in the Wii menu, making it easy for gamers to access the popular online video service. The Xbox 360 could not offer the same for the iPlayer since it has no web browser; the iPlayer would have to be modified for Xbox Live.

Sony’s situation is a tad confusing as the PlayStation 3 is often marketed as an open platform. The PS3 also has a web browser and can just as easily support Flash video streaming. So why is Sony allegedly trying to create their own version?

Despite the Wii’s lead into service integration, BBC’s Waters believes that it’s just a matter of time before Sony adds the iPlayer to its console, too.

Sony and Microsoft will be missing a lot should they decide not to pursue the BBC iPlayer. The online video service alone has a reported 17.2 million downloads already, not to mention that that the BBC is one of the premier news providers in the world. It seems the Nintendo Wii’s ease of use won the day for them once again.

*Update*: Indeed, BBC’s Darren Waters was right on with his hunch that the PlayStation 3 will incorporate the iPlayer in the long run.  But no one seen it coming from the other side, though. We’ve learned that a certain coder Ixalon has created, thanks to QJ.NET reader Techni.

PS3 gamers can access the iPlayer through their console almost similarly to how Wii owners would. However, this is not an official portal from Sony or the BBC. Some features like the full-screen setting are unavailable (although you can always zoom).

If anything, at least this shows that the iPlayer on the PS3 can be done.

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