Once again here in the UK and the EU we have to sit back and watch as our colonnial cousins across the ‘Big Pond’ are rewarded by Sony as they get premium ‘free’ features. But what about Playstation owners back in Blighty? What do we get for the same money?
Sony has brought free movie streaming to the Playstation 3, Bravia and Roku users with the introduction of the one-time Google-only service Crackle. Considering that this was a move designed to bring in more revenue through the misplaced advertising that interupt some of the movies every hour or so, why then is it that the European customer base has once more been overlooked in receiving the new service?
With the official press release making the headlines this morning that Sony has agreed a deal to bring the free movie streaming service to its North American and Canadian Playstation 3 owners, is it any wonder then that gamers and film buff’s here in the UK and in Europe, are once again feeling a little short changed for their PS Plus money thanks to the fact that we are to be overlooked once more in favour of our Bud slurping and moose munching bretheren?
Now there is an argument brewing already on internet sites an forum’s stating that gamers and Sony owners in the UK are generally snubbed when it comes to content on either of the Xbx360 or Playstation 3 consoles, and judging from the dashboard’s of the US and UK versions of each system, you have to say that a lot of these frustrated console owners in the United Kingdom have good right to feel more than a little miffed at the current balance of features.
Take Sony’s Playstation 3 with the latest inclusion of Crackle being the main example of yet another feature that owners in Britain and the European Union will not be recieving, even as a PS Plus member. Customers in the United States and Canada, on the other hand, will now be able to view free movies, albeit that they are only streamed in a weakling 480p, on either their Playstation 3, Sony Bravia TV’s or their Roku set-top boxes. Now why this feature is not beiong brought across to the UK will, no doubt, be smoothed over with some excuse or other regarding format or cost, when really the cost would be negligible if made available to PS Plus members. Even when offered as a free service to all PS3 owners the cost to bringing Crackle to our shores would surely have been factored into the deal made with advertisers and the Crackle boardroom members, so why then should it be unavailable to EU gamers? To echo the sentiments voiced across many forum’s, and indeed on Youtube, it is generally a given that gamers here in the UK feel a little ‘hard done by’ when it comes to their console content.
Take Microsoft’s Xbox360 as another example of this familiar practice. UK and EU gamers are required to pay exactly the same price for their services, such as Xbox Live, but are constantly over charged when it comes to items and features such as DLC and Microsoft Points due to the fact that the exchange rate is not taken into account when the prices are agreed upon at the highest levels. How the poor Aussies cope with this when the price of additional content, and even game,s being on average 23% higher in their country is anyone’s guess, although ‘not very well’ does spring to mind.
To add further insult to injury for Xbox360 owners one merely has to open a US account on Xbox Live and compare the our American cousin’s dashboard and sevices to our own paltry piece of piffle back here in good old Britannia. I don’t know about you guy’s but trying to equate the US version of Game With Fame where Xbox Live Gold members may win the opportunity to play against idol’s such as Snoop Dogg, Ice-T and SouljaBoy does not instill the same kind of faith in its British counterpart when we get offered some Z-lister from Hollyoak’s, or worse. Don’t even get us started on Pointyhead and Super Kaylo! Two stick thin questionable’s with all the condescending public school attitude that is just so inherent in today’s gamer that they would fit right in to any lobby of 15 year-old gamers on XBL. Or maybe they wouldn’t ?
So carry on one and all as this trend of ignoring the European gamer seems to gathering pace, as opposed to leveling out. More features are coming to the Playstation 3 later in the year, and its almost a odds-on certainty that they will include further services that will only be made available to those console owners resident in the United States or Canada, Makes you wonder why you all pay for your PS Plus service, don’t you think?