MLB.tv, a subscription service that lets users stream any baseball game, has been around for a while, even available on Roku's set-top box. But this announcement, reports the New York Times, marks the first video game console to boast the service, and it's an important get for the PS3, which has lagged behind the Xbox 360 in its support of non-game media.
The PS3 will be able to stream the high-ish quality HD video, which costs either $25 per month or $120 per year. Of course, with that subscription, you can watch MLB games on any number of devices, including Web browsers and Apple's iPad. But the MLB, out of strong partnerships with the cable companies, want MLB.tv to be a supplement rather than a replacement of cable--you won't have access to some local games. And that distinction is important to the cable companies, since live sports coverage is just about the only thing that can't be easily replaced with streamed or downloaded content.
Both Sony and Microsoft are branching into more traditionally TV markets. Besides this MLB integration, Sony is an integral part of Google TV, whatever that turns out to be, and Microsoft is apparently trying to create their own TV channel. It makes sense--of the so-called three screens (computer, mobile, and TV), the TV is the least connected, and Sony and Microsoft are in prime position to take advantage.