Sony’s PS4 video game console, is finally getting one of the most popular entertainment apps in entertainment history. This morning Sony announced HBO Go for PS4, an official video streaming app for the premium television of the same name in the United States and it’s attracting a lot of attention. Mostly, that’s because it’s come in time for the premiere of Game of Thrones.
HBO Go for PS3 arrived in the Sony PlayStation app store this morning. PS4 users don’t have to pay for the HBO Go for PS4 app itself. It’s free to download just like it is on every other platform. That being said, PS4 owners do need a valid HBO Go account, which isn’t always easy to get.
Users looking to sign into the app immediately should have a PC or smartphone near by, it’ll be required for them to activate the app using a code. Game of Thrones is one of the most highly anticipated shows premiere on HBO go this year, but there are others. HBO Go for PS3 offers movies that were only recently shown in movie theatres as well as timeless classics. HBO Go already has an app for the PS3. There are mobile apps for Android and iPhone too.
If there’s a premiere streaming service, it’s HBO Go. Each month the app adds new movies to its lineup of streaming titles. That alone would be enough to make it popular with people looking to get their entertainment anywhere; America’s love affair with the app and service goes beyond that. HBO adds television shows as they air on it’s cable channel. What’s more, HBO Go isn’t a separate service. Instead, it’s included in the price of cable for users who are already subscribed to the service.
Today, you need a cable subscription to use HBO Go on PS4, but that won’t always be true. Last year, HBO confirmed that it had plans to decouple HBO Go from the cost of a cable subscription. This means that for the first time ever, even cable cutters will be able to watch the season premiere of Game of Thrones on their PS4 without borrowing someone else’s password.
To be clear, the PS4 and PS3 aren’t the only gaming consoles that have dedicated HBO Go apps for users looking to fill some free time. Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox 360 console both offer HBO Go. A year ago, the company ditched a large portion of it’s payment wall, meaning anyone and everyone can download the apps for free without an Xbox Live subscription. That wasn’t always true, Microsoft originally required all users to sign up for its Xbox Live subscription service.
One interesting thing that HBO Go for Xbox One offers is both voice control and gesture control using the Kinect 2 sensor that came with the console originally and is now also sold as a separate accessory. The control allow users to pause or play video when they’re ready. Users can also switch between different portions of the app without picking up a remote at all.
The PS4 has a camera accessory that enables app makers to add this kind of functionality to their apps too. What’s strange is that Sony doesn’t say in its blog post whether users can control the HBO Go app with the PS4 camera or if they’ll have to settle for browsing around in it using a standard DualShock 4 controller.
With HBO Go for PS4 available, gamers and entertainment lovers have one less reason to purchase an Xbox One instead of a PS4 and PS3. The PS3 is on store shelves now for $399 with a game of free trials. Getting the HBO Go app to work if you have cable, but don’t already subscribe to HBO is a bit difficult. You’ll have to call your cable provider and add it to your video package before you can set up the app online. Game of Thrones premieres April 12th.