'YouTube for Television' to launch via Sony and Nintendo
YouTube has announced a partnership with Sony and Nintendo to create "YouTube for Television". As the name suggests, users can now watch their favorite Internet videos on their big-screen television sets.
What's the catch? Since YouTube for Television runs over the Internet, the link needed to log onto the service is only accessible via a game console. Since the partnership is exclusive to Sony and Nintendo, the user first needs to pick up a PlayStation 3 or Wii to start watching television-displayed YouTube videos.
Conspicuous by its absence in the partnership is Microsoft and its Xbox 360. The current number-two contender in the console war has all of the capabilities needed to offer the service, should it later be included in the partnership.
For its part, Microsoft was predicted to leapfrog up to top spot with its 2008 acquisition of Netflix for the Xbox 360. However, with streaming television believed to be the future of how people view their media, the YouTube partnerships could end up hurting Microsoft hardware sales in the long run. If a consumer is shopping around for a game console with longevity, simple additions like YouTube for Television could prove to be deciding factors.
Many are predicting big things for the new service. Initial promotional spots are calling it "a dynamic, lean-back, 10-foot television viewing experience for Internet connected consoles." (Source: yahoo.com)
Not bad for pushing the same content that people can see right now on their laptops and PCs.
Still, YouTube has made some changes in response to the new service, including enlarging text and streamlining navigation to function better on the Wii and PlayStation 3's built-in web browsers. (Source: networkworld.com)
Another neat feature: optional auto-play that allows users to view related videos sequentially. Now you can really sit back and enjoy your favorite YouTube videos without having to get up every 2 minutes and 11 seconds to click over to the next clip.
YouTube's ultimate goal for 2009: become available on a number of different devices, just like Netflix had done in 2008.