Sony Brings Live Chat To Play TV... For A Fee

Ever since Zune Video marketplace, Microsoft has made a big deal about the social viewing side of entertainment on the Xbox. Sony want in on that social side of things, launching PlayTV Live Chat yesterday. The service lets you text chat with other people watching the same shows as you are using the Play TV. Exciting!

Perhaps a full run down of the features cut from the press release will make it sound more exciting. Perhaps.

Get chatting with Chat TV:

  • Chat live on screen in real-time with no interruption. First, choose a show you want to watch from the on screen guide, select chat TV, then join one of the existing chat rooms or set up your own room and invite your friends to join you.
  • Every live channel and program can have any number of its own chat rooms, each with up to 64 people at a time. If one chat room is full, simply join another or start your own.
  • You can decide who enters your chat room. Set your room to be available to your PlayStation®Network friends, everyone, or by invitation only to just chat with your closest friends.
  • Real-time scrolling means you can discuss plot twists, cliff-hangers and whether or not that last goal was actually offside: It’s perfect for big match commentary with some serious banter with your mates, or for predicting the next twist in your favourite soap.
  • Chatting is easy - you can use the onscreen keyboard, or connect a USB/Bluetooth keyboard to your PS3™

Get all your friends involved:

  • Recommend and share your favourite programs, films or soaps on TV to your PlayStation®Network and Facebook friends. Send recommendations to any of your PlayStation Network friends or send it to your Facebook wall to get all your friends involved in the discussion.
  • Invite PlayStation Network friends to watch with you by sending them a message with a link so they can go directly to the programme in PlayTV or if they are not in, automatically set a recording for the show.

Get Watching:

  • PlayTV Live Chat is easy to download. Make sure you have the latest PlayTV software patch on the 18th Nov, then simply purchase the new PlayTV Live Chat software upgrade from Playstation®Store and you’ll be able to use the new ‘Live Chat’ features straight away. Once installed, the new icons will appear on the home menu for instant access.
  • PlayTV is safe and secure. The Chat TV service is accessible only for those over the age of 16. Chat rooms are moderated and participants can be blocked from your feed while settings are also in place to protect user’s privacy.
  • PlayTV ‘Live Chat Upgrade’ is available in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Australia and New Zealand.

The chat app download will set you back $12.95, on top of the $150 for the PlayTV. While being able to share the experience of watching TV with a friend directly through the PS3 sounds great, I'm not sure the text option is necessarily the way to go, especially given the PS3's Bluetooth compatibility and how easy it should be to voice chat.