Sony’s Flash advantage for PlayStation 3 vs Xbox 360

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14 comments on this post.
  1. Clyde Davies:

    I don’t know if this addresses all the issues you mention, but I happen to download BBC programs directly onto my PC in WMV format and then play back using the Media Center Extender on my 360. The quality is excellent, and it’s probably the predominant use of our 360 at the moment.

    OK, so it’s not strictly interactive iPlayer but if you are prepared to wait for a few minutes while the program downloads, the wait is more than compensated for by the better viewing experience. I’m also running Windows 7 Ultimate on the PC, which has a much better MCE than Vista. Also, the 360 MCE ‘channels’ the PC MCE, so if you install this and plug in a mous, then you should be able to watch programs in streaming mode.

  2. Andrew:

    One thing you didn’t mention is that Sky Player is coming to the Xbox.

    I have been using it for a while now on PCs and Macs and the quality is excellent. It is based on Silverlight. If the Xbox experience is similar then thinks will be interesting as it will be Sky Player on the Xbox versus iPlayer on the PS3.

  3. tim:

    Thanks; I’ve updated the post as this is helpful info.


  4. Clyde Davies:

    One more comment I’ll make is that the Vista Media Centre has some problems with the iPlayer WMV files in that they play back with a distorted aspect ratio on the 360. This requires some buggering-about on the TV to compensate for this. However, the Windows 7 MC seems to have addressed this totally. One more reason to upgrade.

  5. Simon Weatherall:

    No offence but who cares about watching TV on a ‘games’ console. If you were that bothered you would either watch it online or get a digital receiver which most TVs come with. This entire article seems to slate the 360 for the lack off blue ray or TV.

    For one thing blueray is overrated the drives are not fast enough to successfully pull the information off, so it has to install a portion of the game so it can load. Also why would you be using the browser on one, for one thing most people have PCs and use them.

    The other downside to the PS3 is the update system. If you have never played, for example: Little Big Planet you don’t have the one update like you do on the 360, you have 9 updates taking around 20min to install then it installs on your HDD. The 360 may have some faults but an update is quicker than the PS3 and you can opt to install it on the HDD not have no choice cause the drive isn’t quick enough.

    It seems that you have used a couple of points to make light of the extras you can get with PS3, and not made any attempt to even mention that the xbox will be getting sky. What would people want, 1 channel or several. Personally if I wanted to watch TV I would turn the console off.

    Your view does seem to be very biased though.

  6. tim:

    No offence but who cares about watching TV on a ‘games’ console.

    Quite a lot of people, if the BBC’s figures are correct. The point is that in most homes the TV is the best placed for “sit back” viewing, but sitting a PC next to the TV is intrusive – using a console solves that problem.

    Nothing against the 360, I use it all the time.


  7. Simon Weatherall:

    If you use the 360 then you will be aware that British Sky Broadcasting has struck a deal with Microsoft, so the variety of television will be coming to the Xbox around autumn time. I would have made a mention in the article

  8. tim:

    @Simon the info about Sky is in a postscript and has been mentioned in the comments above.


  9. Alex Atkin UK:

    For starters, FLASH has been ALWAYS been available on the X-Box. Early Arcade games (Hexic) and huge chunks of the Dashboard used FLASH and is only now being (been?) replaced with Silverlight.

    I am pretty sure that the ONLY reason we do not have iPlayer is that nobody is willing to foot the bill to write the client software.

    Its not like iPlayer is written in FLASH anyway that I am aware of. It simply uses FLASH to play the H264 video files on most systems, because that is what is most widely supported in web browsers. But this is not mandatory by any means, as the iPod/iPhone version makes totally apparent – it streams in Quicktime instead. So it could just as easily stream using whatever method the 360 uses as well, it just needs some way to access those H264 files.

    Just look at YouTube, it happily streams the same H264 files in HQ on Windows, Mac, Linux using FLASH as well as Quicktime on the iPod. Making it clear once and for all, FLASH is not the limiting factor here.

    Now I’m not saying a web browser would not be useful on the 360. Many people have been asking for one since the 360 launched and I think it would be very useful, especially if it did support FLASH video.

    Bearing in mind the PS3 arguably did a shoddy job of its FLASH support in the web browser. Even now the playback is not perfect despite the iPod/iPhone version which, quite frankly, DOES play perfectly.

    There is simply no excuse when the PS3 can play low or high resolution H264 by any method other than FLASH, perfectly and with upscaling filters yet FLASH does not. Sony are just lucky people would rather have slightly shoddy playback than none at all, plus people are conditioned for juddery playback thanks to YouTube.

    Ultimately though? Yes I would use iPlayer on 360 and it will be interesting to see if Sky Player will encourage the BBC to act. I certainly would not boot up my PS3 just to watch iPlayer, especially not at the current quality which I find looks aweful due to a lack of upscaling filters and problems with panning. I use my iPod instead.

  10. Clyde Davies:

    Just one more thing (I’m beginning to sound like Columbo here)…H264 is supported out of the box in Windows 7 and on the 360.

  11. tim:


    This is interesting, I had no idea the 360 used Flash at all. Don’t know about dashboard – have you got further info? – but this article describes a “custom flash player” built especially for Hexic:

    Still, even if a Flash player exists for the 360 there is quite a difference between a homebrew hack and being able to run flash content from any URL.

    If I were Microsoft I’d be agitating to get BBC iPlayer (and ITV player) on the 360 ASAP since it is a big deal for many users.


  12. Rob Beard:

    Only last night (when I was playing around with the iPlayer Desktop app on my laptop running Ubuntu) was I thinking, why isn’t there an iPlayer app for the XBOX 360?

    I’d love to be able to get BBC content (and ITV/C4 content too) in HD but at the moment I can’t get a satellite signal (due to some trees blocking the dish which I have no control over) and well Freeview HD hasn’t been released yet although I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Westcountry (I’m in Torbay) won’t be long behind Manchester.

    I do have Virgin Media at home although I use this mainly for the broadband, I’m a bit reluctant to pay for the HD cable box especially considering we hardly use the standard box apart from iPlayer (we have Freeview and that suits us down to the ground).

    So yeah having iPlayer (in HD) on the XBOX 360 would be a real boon for me. I hear that HD streaming is coming to the XBOX 360 soon (I gather it’s along with the Sky Player, which I’m assuming requires some sort of Sky subscription or payment for content) so having the iPlayer on the XBOX 360 would be great (if I could stream live BBC HD to the XBOX 360 then that would be great, and possibly even worth upgrading my broadband for so I wasn’t subject to the traffic management).


  13. Alex Atkin UK:

    Perhaps I am wrong about FLASH on 360, but I am pretty sure the adverts, anything animated on the dashboard was running in FLASH as Microsoft recently made a big deal about switching to Silverlight.

    But like I said, I do not see that as relevant anyway. The 360 supports all the same codecs as the PS3 (the exceptions being containers not codecs, eg PS3 supports Blu-ray AVC HD and the 360 supports Quicktime HD) and as the iPhone/iPod does not need FLASH to support iPlayer, neither does anything else. The 360 only needs a client, in fact I wonder if someone could make an Indie Game that is actually an iPlayer client? Probably tricky as you need BBC support to get at the streams as they make them slightly none-standard (people were pirating the iPhone/iPod streams on PC).

    I too am waiting to see how streaming HD will turn out as the average speed of broadband in the UK is only really comfortable for SD streaming. I do think it is time we had streaming TV channels on consoles. The assumption everyone wants to have a games console AND a set top box is really false. There must be plenty of kids with PS3/360 in their bed room and old TVs that will have no TV support soon, even streaming basic freeview channels over the Internet to the console could really help fill that gap.

    As for HD, the catch is I do not think enough people have the bandwidth to stream BBC HD yet although I would love to see it attempted. Even if it meant most people had to drop down to 720p streams instead of 1080p it would be a worthy improvement.

  14. Diseño paginas Web:

    If you use the 360 then you will be aware that British Sky Broadcasting has struck a deal with Microsoft, so the variety of television will be coming to the Xbox around autumn time. I would have made a mention in the article