The gaming gimmicks of 2008


Regular digital TV is all too often a dispiriting mass of umpteen channels and nothing to watch but dreadful reality shows, idiot-exploiting quiz shows or bikini'd bimbosanswering text messagesfrom lonely single men sitting in darkened rooms. But IPTV (Internet Protocol) is a very different prospect, and both Sony and Microsoft will be working towards using this new 'on demand' televisual experience to realise their ultimate goal - turning your console into a multimedia delivery device.

Microsoft has stolen the march, though. It'steaming up with British Telecomto turn your Xbox 360 into an all-singing-all-dancing set-top box, able to receive the IPTV service BT Vision. This will give Xbox 360 owners (ahem, providing they pay the BT Vision subscription fees) access to BT's extensive video library - including movies, music videos, TV and sports events. Sonyhas its ownIPTV ambitions, though at the moment these appear to be limited to Korea.

Plus, this year will see far more content hit both the PlayStation Network's movie and music sections and Microsoft's Xbox Live Video Marketplace. Microsoft, for example,has reeled inDisney-ABC and MGM to bring new shows and films to Xbox Live's video download service, which means you can grab hit series like Lost and Desperate Housewives or legendary blockbusters like Platoon and Terminator.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.