Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand has confirmed that the PlayStation 3’s PlayTV peripheral will not see local distribution before the end of 2009.
PlayTV is Sony’s entry into the Digital Television Recorder market; a plug-in peripheral for PlayStation 3 boasting two high-definition television tuners that will allow users to record two television channels to their hard drives simultaneously. Users can also select which programming they’d like to record – be it a one-off or a whole season – via the television network’s Electronic Programming Guide (EPG). While PlayTV won’t be sold here before the end of the year, the device goes on sale in Australia on November 26th for AU$169.95.
“PlayTV will not be launching in New Zealand in 2009,” said Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand to Christchurch newspaper The Press. “We understand that there is a lot of anticipation for the domestic arrival of PlayTV and we are working hard to make it a reality for PlayStation 3 users in New Zealand in the future.”
"Free-to-air digital broadcasting specifications vary from country to country, which means that each market has different technical challenges to overcome. Whilst this has meant that the development process has taken longer than planned, we want to make sure that when it launches in New Zealand, PlayTV provides the best possible functionality and performance that PlayStation users have rightly come to expect,” continued Sony NZ. "With this in mind Sony Computer Entertainment NZ will advise of further developments and announcements in 2010."
While Sony is yet to confirm the cause of the delay, it’s speculated that incompatibility issues with the Freeview EPG are to blame. Freeview NZ uses the MHEG-5 standard for its EPG, which is something of an anomaly internationally and not currently supported by PlayTV.
Gerard Campbell, the reporter from The Press who received the comment from Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand, has written a blog about the delay here.