YouTube has partnered with Nintendo and Sony to put YouTube on TV and now has a YouTube for Television Web site for Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 users.
Earlier this week, YouTube said it would offer YouTube on TV with partners, including Panasonic, Sony and TiVo. Now the television Web site, currently in beta, will feature a streamlined interface that allows users to watch and share YouTube videos on any television screen.
The Web site is available globally in 22 localized sites and in more than 12 languages, according to the company. A specific date for a full launch has not been set, according to YouTube.
The move is in part an effort by YouTube to begin an industry evolution toward open television access for Web videos. YouTube over time plans to add support for additional television devices, including Web browsers. This is parent-company Google's first foray into television.
Larger and Easier
YouTube's new Web site, currently available only through the Wii and PS3, allows users to experience a YouTube Web site that has been configured for television.
"If I go to the standard YouTube Web site, there are a lot of hyperlinks and text, and it's intuitive to navigate on the computer, but when you put it on a TV, it's hard to navigate with a remote control because of the hyperlinks," said Chris Dale, a YouTube spokesperson.
Product managers want users to surf the Web site with ease, so they added buttons that are chunky and text that is big, Dale said. The site also features arrow-key navigation that allows the user to browse all the available videos rather than typing in text on the traditional YouTube site.
"You can also enable the autoplay function, which mirrors the TV experience that continuously plays one video after another," Dale said.
Kinks and Feedback
Because the Web site is still in beta, YouTube plans to consider feedback from initial users to iron out any kinks.
"Obviously we will take into consideration any feedback people have about the Web site," Dale said. "Overwhelmingly, I have to say the feedback we have gotten since launch yesterday is really positive." Viewers "have been thrilled to sit on their couch and watch the YouTube Web site," he added.
Bloggers, however, are expressing disappointment that the Web site isn't available for other gaming consoles, especially Microsoft's Xbox 360. But YouTube's Dale said it's just a first step and there are "absolutely no exclusivity deals."
"Ultimately, we want to have the TV Web site available on other gaming consoles but ubiquitous," he said. "Our real goal is to give the consumer what he or she wants."