Sony finally filled a major hole in its video app lineup yesterday with the introduction of HBO Go for PlayStation 3. Once installed, the app allows most cable customers to stream their favorite HBO shows and a wide selection of movies. We say most because there's one major provider that isn't yet on board with HBO Go for PlayStation, and that's Comcast. Comcast subscribers are currently unable to stream any content using the app. The company's absence is especially glaring since most other cable companies have signed on — including Time Warner Cable, which Comcast hopes to buy if all goes according to plan.
Sony wants no part of the blame
When we reached out to ask why Xfinity subscribers can't yet access HBO Go on its console, Sony predictably steered our inquiry to Comcast. "Please contact Comcast PR regarding its authentication policies and supported devices. We hope they will support PS3 soon," a spokesperson said. As for what Comcast had to say, a company representative told The Verge, "With every new website, device or player we authenticate, we need to work through technical integration and customer service which takes time and resources. Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize as we partner with various players."
But this is something of an unfortunate trend for the cable operator, and it's a pain that Roku owners know all too well. Despite persistent pleas, Comcast has refused HBO Go access to owners of the popular set-top boxes. Keep in mind these are Comcast's own paying customers we're talking about; cord-cutters aren't even part of the conversation. And there's no clear rhyme or reason to how Comcast decides which devices can use HBO Go. If you own an Apple TV or Xbox 360, you can stream shows and movies without issue. (Xbox 360 support was also delayed initially, but for only a short time.) The company even supports HBO Go on Samsung Smart TVs. But Roku — and for now the PlayStation 3 — aren't so lucky. Rather than stall in releasing its own app, Sony obviously decided that its customers had waited long enough and launched HBO Go for PS3 yesterday, promising that a PlayStation 4 version is also in the pipeline. Sony's consoles have proven to be a popular choice for video streaming, so we hope Comcast joins other providers sooner than later.