While Amazon Instant Video has been available on streaming set-top boxes like the Roku 2 and DVR boxes like the TiVo, the release of Amazon Instant Video on the PlayStation 3 marks the first time that the online retailer has made licensed video content available on a gaming console. Identical to the way the application works on other platforms, Amazon Prime subscribers are able to watch more than 17,000 TV shows and movies similar to Netflix’s core functionality. The online retailer has been aggressively expanding the amount of content available to Prime subscribers over the past year after making deals with companies like Magnolia, Discovery, and Viacom.
While Amazon Prime customers can take advantage of the streaming library of titles, the selection of premium content available for purchase doesn’t differ significantly to the premium content available on both Vudu and CinemaNow.
Content is priced identically as well. For instance, a high definition version of episode 1 of HBO’s Game of Thrones costs both $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video as well as Vudu. However, Amazon does not specify if the episode is offered in 720p or 1080p on the product page while Vudu clearly offers both versions for the same price. Users of Amazon Instant Video and Vudu will see similar pricing for purchasing entire seasons of recently aired television shows.
In order to use the Amazon Instant Video on the PlayStation 3, users must install the application through the XMB menu and launch the application from the section that also includes apps like Netflix, Vudu and Hulu Plus. Similar to the other third party applications, the Amazon Instant Video app isn’t integrated with the PlayStation Store digital wallet and users need to link up the app with their personal Amazon account. Once the PS3 hardware is linked to the account, users will be able to take advantage of the cloud sync feature. For instance, a commuter could start watching War Horse on the Kindle Fire and finish the film on the PS3 once they have arrived home.