Though its launch date has not yet been pinned down, the
has gotten an early look at Sony's PlayTV, an accessory that promises to turn the PS3 into a fully-fledged digital TV recorder.
The device, which is due to hit the market this year, connects to the PS3's USB port and has an aerial port at the rear. Once up and running it boasts an electronic programme guide and what the BBC describes as a well-designed menu system.
Users can record, pause and rewind live TV, and PlayTV's dual tuner means you're able to watch one channel whilst recording another.
Currently PlayTV doesn't allow PS3 owners to record TV whilst playing games, but Sony says that it is working on this functionality and that there's a strong chance it will be added post-launch via a software update.
Also interesting is the ability to watch live TV remotely via PSP. Sony's Remote Play technology already allows PSP owners to connect to their PS3 remotely via wi-fi and watch content stored on the PS3's hard drive, or even play downloaded PSOne and some PS3 games. PlayTV will prove a significant extension of this technology.
Microsoft is planning similar PVR functionality for Xbox 360 thanks to its deal with BT to incorporate its BT Vision technology into its console. No date has been put on its launch as of yet.