TV channel HBO strike deal with console manufacturer

Sony are continuing on the campaign trail to make their PlayStation 3 the home entertainment console of choice, after reaching agreement with Time Warner to host episodes from 11 different HBO series.

Big Love, Curb Your Enthusiasm, True Blood and Entourage are understood to be four of those prime cuts, and the deal means that PlayStation 3 users will be able to download episodes of their choice at around the same time that season box sets appear at retail - around 11 months after the network premieres.

In this way, HBO avoid neutering valuable TV deals and encourage fans to support their favorite series by purchasing official high quality episodes, rather than using low quality bootlegs. Initially announced for North America, pricing is to be between $0.99 and $2.99 (~€0.80 to €2.45).

Microsoft recently announced an expanded deal with French broadcaster Canal+ to expand their own portfolio of live online TV for French Xbox 360 owners, while in the UK they have partnered with BSkyB (the Fox network's equivalent) to offer Sky TV's online service via the console.

Though both Microsoft and Sony's game divisions are playing catch-up to Nintendo in terms of mainstream popularity, this year is seeing a push to expand the remit of games consoles to take advantage of 3D capabilities, advanced motion controllers, and film and music channels.

Rental company Netflix already offers online viewing for subscribers via the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, in addition to their postal film hire service.