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PS3 iPlayer usage shoots up, dwarfs Wii

7m requests help BBC to record figures.

The BBC iPlayer boasted more programme requests in December than ever before, helped along by a big jump in PlayStation 3 usage.

According to the BBC, iPlayer show requests from PlayStation 3s shot up 31 per cent month-on-month to top seven million – a healthy chunk of the 145 million total.

In comparison, Wii users posted around four million requests to the BBC's online TV and radio streaming service, despite the console's greater UK install base. That's up from around three million the month before.

Xbox 360 users, on the other hand, made zero programme requests – Microsoft is still refusing to host the service on its console. In late 2009, a BBC source told The Telegraph, "Microsoft only wants to offer its users access to platforms it can charge for as this is the model it is pursuing."

"This does not fit with the BBC's model and Microsoft will not budge at the moment. It is really frustrating for those involved on the BBC side who want to make sure iPlayer is rolled out on as many popular entertainment platforms as possible."

In November, UK Xbox chief Steve McGill told Eurogamer, "There are conversations going on. The thing for us is, how do we add some magic sauce to that so that it's different? A lot of people are watching that on their PC. How many people are going to watch it on the console unless we add something different?

"That's one of the things we talked about when Sky came out - how we could make it more intuitive, the social side of things, party mode environments... We put those together with Sky and launched our service. So you should talk to the BBC."

The top five iPlayer programme requests for December panned out as follows:

  1. Top Gear USA Road Trip: 1,294,000
  2. Top Gear Middle East Special: 1,260,000
  3. The Apprentice Series 6 Episode 12: 892,000
  4. The Apprentice Series 6 Episode 9: 849,000
  5. Come Fly With Me Episode 1: 783,000

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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