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Torne for PS3 in Japan

Here’s something interesting. In EU territories, they have this service called PlayTV that is available to PS3 users that allows them to record broadcasted DTV video to the PS3’s hard drive and use it as a DVR of sorts. It’s actually a peripheral that connects up to the PlayStation 3. The content works much the same way other DVRs do, caching the video, allowing you to pause/rewind/etc.

Well, now Sony Japan has made a few announcements of their own. Their localized digital terrestrial tuner, named Torne, does much of the same as EU’s PlayTV service, allowing users to record available DTV broadcasts in their areas directly to either the console’s internal hard drive or onto an external hard drive. It also features an interactive viewing guide that lets you know what shows are on, as well as schedule recordings. Not only that, but along with that announcement, it was also revealed that there will be a standalone SKU of the console that includes a 250GB HDD. Also planned is a bundle that will include both the 250GB HDD as well as the Torne system.

The new SKU will go on sale in February, with the Torne and Torne bundle hitting shelves in March. All that’s missing now is a similar device to come to the states, which could potentially sway buyers into a purchase of the device (plus, after the initial investment, since it records from freely available broadcasts, there’s no monthly charge). I’m not sure as to why nothing is planned, it could be lack of market interest, or maybe even the FCC regulations getting in the way. I’d really like to see similar collaboration with cable and satellite companies, though, but since they offer up their own DVR service (at a monthly cost), it’s a long shot that they would support a device that does the same thing and doesn’t have a monthly service charge.