Sony reportedly wants to be a virtual cable provider

Posted by Mike Luttrell

No doubt in response to Microsoft's pending Xbox 360 update, Sony is now angling to get live TV content available to stream through the PS3.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Sony has begun talking to major media groups about the idea already.

NBC Universal, Discovery Communications, and News Corp have all met with Sony, the Journal cited people familiar with the deal as saying.

This comes after Microsoft plans to roll out a huge update to the Xbox 360 that will allow gamers in the US with an active cable TV subscription to access their cable TV channels directly from the console. Only a couple cable providers have signed onto the deal so far.

What Sony appears to want is to cut the middle man - the cable guy - and offer content directly to users.

And unlike Microsoft, Sony also has the benefit of offering several other devices that connect to the TV, including Blu-ray players and home theater systems. The company also has several TV models that can connect to the Internet directly. All of these products could reportedly take advantage of a Sony-powered TV content service.

This all shows how the traditional game "console wars" have expanded far beyond gaming. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are both now competing for total entertainment dominance, with social networking, video streaming, and digital music all part of the offerings. The competition even spreads outside of the actual physical console as well, as both Microsoft and Sony are working to incorporate their respective mobile divisions with their game console services.